Clipper South

Fairfield equity = 25% (P465, P008, P1909)
RWE equity = 50%
Bayerngas equity = 25%

Asset Overview

The Clipper South Field is located off the east coast of England, 100km from the Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal, spanning blocks 48/19a, 48/19c, 48/20a and 48/20b. Additional exploration acreage covering blocks 48/24a and 48/25c was awarded to the partners as part of the 27th Seaward Round under a slightly different equity arrangement; with Fairfield and Bayerngas’ interest each increased to 30% and RWE, as operator, holding the remaining 40%. Water depth is 80 ft.

Clipper South is a substantial gas field with a wellhead platform tied by 12" pipeline to Conoco/BP’s LOGGS Platform (15 km) from where gas is exported onshore to Theddlethorpe gas terminal.

Background & Exploration History

Clipper South lies within the prolific Southern North Sea gas province, south of the Clipper-Barque cluster, west of the Viking Complex and northeast of Anglia. The field is reservoired in Lower Permian wind-blown sandstones belonging to the Rotliegendes Group. The underlying Carboniferous Coal Measures are the source of the dry gas.

Prior to its development two wells were drilled on Clipper South. The discovery well 48/19a-3 was drilled in 1982 and was subsequently appraised in 1992 by well 48/19c-13 and its sidetrack 48/19c-13z. Both wells were tested and flowed gas to surface.

The net to gross within the Rotliegendes section is high, exceeding 80 per cent. in the gas leg. Reservoir properties vary between facies, although typically the aeolian sandstones have 10–12 per cent. porosity and permeability which can vary from <0.1mD to 100mD.

Clipper South is imaged by several 3D seismic surveys which were merged and reprocessed via PSDM in 2010. The data clearly defines the Clipper South trap as a south to south-westerly dipping fault block, bounded by a fault on its northern flank and dip closed to the east, south and west.

The two initial wells in Clipper South, together with data from adjacent fields confirmed a Rotliegendes dry gas field, in which production could be enhanced through stimulation via hydraulic fracturing of the reservoir. The operator, RWE, estimates P50 GIIP at 512 Bcf.

The Clipper South Field lies in three part blocks. Part Blocks 48/19a and 48/20a were originally awarded to Shell UK (operator, 50 per cent.) and Esso (50 per cent.) in the 1st Licensing Round in 1964. Part Block 48/19c was awarded to the same partnership in the 8th License Round in 1983. Fairfield acquired a 100 per cent. interest and operatorship in Clipper South from subsidiaries of Shell and ExxonMobil in March 2008.

In July 2009, Fairfield farmed down 50 per cent. of its interest and transferred operatorship to RWE in return for RWE carrying £20million of development costs and contributing to past costs. Fairfield was then able to benefit from RWE’s experience and technical expertise. In September 2010 Fairfield completed a farm-in agreement with Bayern Gas.  Under the terms of this agreement Bayern Gas acquired a 25% interest from Fairfield in return for carrying £10million of Fairfield’s development costs and contributing to past costs.

Field Development Plan

Technical work during 2009 and early 2010 confirmed the ideal development concept to be five horizontal “multifrac” wells tied back to infrastructure at LOGGS via a wellhead platform and a 12” pipeline.  Platform construction began in late 2010. The Clipper South Field development programme was approved by the Secretary of State on 24th February 2011 and installation of the wellhead platform was completed on 27th August 2011. Development drilling commenced in January 2012 and first gas was achieved on the 11th August2012 from well C1, the first horizontal multifrac well on the field.

Following completion and production start-up of well C1 the Clipper South programme saw the batch drilling and subsequent fraccing of three further development wells over 2013. All four wells are expected to be online by the end of Q2 2014 and it is currently expected that the 5th production well will be drilled in Q2 2015. Peak field rates in excess of 100mmscfd are expected from Clipper South.

In the 26th Licensing Round Fairfield and RWE were awarded Block 48/20b, Licence P1909, immediately to the south east of the Clipper South field. Bayerngas have since acquired a 25% interest in this block from Fairfield thus normalising interests with Clipper South. Additional exploration acreage, covering blocks 48/24a and 48/25c, was awarded to the partners as part of the 27th Round and differs slightly from the rest of the area in that Fairfield and Bayerngas now have a 30% interest and RWE, as operator, holds the remaining 40%. Both awards are traditional drill or drop four year terms requiring seismic reprocessing; work is ongoing to assess whether tight gas opportunities exist in these blocks which could be developed via Clipper South.

Clipper South

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