Fairfield equity = 70%
Mitsubishi equity = 30%
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The Dunlin cluster of fields consisting of Dunlin, Dunlin SW, Merlin, Osprey, Skye and Block 6 (the ‘‘Dunlin Cluster’’) is located in Blocks 211/18, 211/23 and 211/24 of the UKCS, some 500km north-northeast of Aberdeen within the East Shetland Basin and 11.2km from the boundary line with Norway.
The Dunlin field came on production in August 1978 and reached a plateau of approximately 120,000 bopd early in field life. During the following years there was an active programme of drilling and approximately 100 wells have been drilled from the Dunlin Platform. As with most Brent formation oil fields, Dunlin relies on consistent water injection to maximise recovery. In 2001 the Dunlin Platform became fuel gas deficient and the result was a marked reduction in production caused by a reduction in water injection.
In April 2008, Fairfield and the MCX Companies, subsidiaries of Mitsubishi Corporation, acquired the GDA Producing Fields from subsidiaries of Shell, ExxonMobil, Statoil and OMV.
Since the acquisition of the assets, Fairfield’s focus has been to establish a track record of safe, reliable and predictable operations. This has entailed significant investment in basic fabric maintenance but also in platform equipment such as the drilling rig, power generation equipment and support equipment such as fire and gas and emergency response systems. A substantial amount of work has also been done to ensure both platform and subsea wells and subsea infrastructure integrity will support incident free operations for the rest of the greater Dunlin area’s producing life.
This investment culminated in mid 2012 with the successful completion of the Dunlin fuel gas import project which means that the Dunlin platform can now import its own fuel gas and generate its own power for water injection and oil processing purposes thereby reversing the reduction in production due to being fuel gas deficient.
The link below to the Dunlin Alpha Helicopter Flare Access & Flare Tip Installation DVD will illustrate some of the work done during this period of significant investment.
A new 3d seismic survey was also commissioned in 2012 to support the on going subsurface work which is being done to identify and evaluate new drilling opportunities both on the platform but also near field opportunities which could be developed as subsea tie-backs to Dunlin.
The Dunlin field straddles Blocks 211/23a and 211/24a. Block 211/23a was awarded to Shell UK and Esso Exploration and Production UK Limited (‘‘Esso’’) in 1972, and Block 211/24a was awarded to a ConocoPhillips Company (‘‘Conoco’’)-led consortium in 1970. Dunlin was discovered by Shell UK with well 211/23a-1 in 1973, its eastward extension into 211/24 being confirmed by Conoco late in 1973. Production from the field commenced in 1978.
The Dunlin SW field was discovered in 1973 with the 211/23a-2 well, but was not brought on to production until 1996 when an extended reach well was drilled from the Dunlin Platform. A second infill well was drilled in 1998. Both wells are currently producing. The field receives pressure support from distal Dunlin field injection wells.
The Osprey field, eight kilometres to the northwest of Dunlin, was discovered with appraisal well 211/23a-3 in 1974. The discovery has been developed as a subsea tie-back to Dunlin with first production in January 1991.
The Merlin field was discovered by the first side-track of exploration well 211/23a-13 in February 1997. Following development approval in August 1997, the field commenced production in November 1997 as a subsea tie-back to Dunlin. Subsequent development in 1999 saw the installation of water injection, along with a second production well. A third production well was drilled in 2001.
The GDA Producing Fields are operated by Fairfield, which has appointed AMEC as dutyholder. AMEC has a long association with the Dunlin Platform, and a significant proportion of the platform crew were already employed by AMEC at the time of acquisition. AMEC and Fairfield worked together in the year preceding the acquisition of the asset to evaluate its physical condition, its operating challenges and its opportunities. An operating model has been developed in which AMEC as duty holder operates the platform offshore and provides onshore support, whilst Fairfield manages the asset, subsurface development, license obligations, drilling, well operations and pipelines.
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