BG Turns on the Tap at Blake Flank Field

BG Group, along with partners Talisman Energy and Paladin Resources, has announced first oil from the North Sea Blake Flank development. First production, which was scheduled for the third quarter of 2003, began on Monday September 22nd. The estimated flow rate was 5200 barrels of oil per day.

The Blake Flank development lies 64 miles from Aberdeen in the Outer Moray Firth, immediately adjacent to the original BG-operated Blake Channel field, which was brought on stream in June 2001. BG Group is the field operator and holds a 44% interest, with Talisman Energy holding 53.6% and Paladin Resources 2.4%.

Speaking today, Jon Wormley, BG Executive Vice President and Managing Director, UK, said: "The development of Blake Flank was made possible through the efficient use of existing infrastructure. Achieving first production only ten months from project sanction is a tribute to the co-operative working of the Blake partners. Thanks should also go to the contractors and the neighboring Ross Field Group, who were instrumental in helping complete the tight project deadlines."

The Blake Flank facilities are tied into the existing Blake Production Manifold. The increased oil production rate of the combined development holds the potential for extending the economic life of the Blake field.

Design, fabrication and installation of the subsea flowlines and umbilicals was completed by Technip UK Ltd. Subsea controls work was undertaken by Kvaerner Oilfield Products Ltd, with the subsea Christmas trees being supplied by Cameron Cooper. Drilling operations were completed, using the Global Santa Fe semi-submersible rig Glomar Arctic IV.

The original Blake oil field, known as the Blake "Channel", started production on June 27, 2001, just 18 months after project sanction. It has estimated gross field reserves of around 70 million barrels of oil, and produced an average of 40,000 barrels of oil per day during 2002. Blake is a subsea development, which is tied back to an existing floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel on the Ross field, 9.5 kms away. The Ross Group comprises Talisman, Intrepid and Paladin.

An appraisal well on the Blake Flank structure spudded on September 17, 2001, and two zones were then successfully tested by the partners. Following the successful side-track to the well 13/24a-8, the decision was taken to fast-track the development. The DTI approved the development on November 11, 2002.