The Dunlin cluster of fields comprising 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.
Fairfield to commence decommissioning of Dunlin Alpha platform
Fairfield Energy’s subsidiaries Fairfield Betula Limited and Fairfield Fagus Limited (“Fairfield”) and their joint venture partner, MCX Dunlin Limited (“MCX”), confirmed in May 2015 that they are planning to commence a Decommissioning Programme for the Dunlin field cluster in the northern North Sea, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. Fairfield acquired Dunlin, Dunlin SW, Merlin and Osprey fields from Shell and its partners in April 2008. MCX, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, is the 30% working interest partner in this suite of assets.
Production from all Dunlin cluster fields was therefore shut down in mid-June 2015 to prepare for the start of a full decommissioning process which will be finalised and approved in consultation with The Department of Energy and Climate Change (“DECC”), the Oil and Gas Authority (“OGA”) and other relevant regulatory and industry bodies and stakeholders. The Dunlin Alpha platform will remain fully manned and operational, continuing to export third party oil into the Brent system pipeline in the meantime. The phased decommissioning process is anticipated to take a number of years with high offshore activity levels maintained throughout.
The Dunlin field came on production in August 1978 with production peaking at approximately 120,000 bopd in 1979. It is located 500km north-northeast of Aberdeen within the East Shetland Basin and 11.2km from the boundary line with Norway. The Dunlin field cluster has produced over 522 million barrels over its 37 years of operation, extending the platform’s original 25 year design life by 12 years to secure substantially more reserves.
Since acquiring Dunlin, Fairfield has invested a considerable amount in the asset for the deployment of new technology and the introduction of operational and efficiency improvements, resulting in a significant extension of its lifecycle. This included the completion of the Osprey re-instatement campaign which allowed Osprey production to restart and the installation of electric submersible pumps in a depleted area of the Dunlin main field. In addition, a 3D seismic survey was commissioned in 2012 to support subsurface work undertaken to identify and evaluate new drilling opportunities on the platform and near-field opportunities which could be developed as subsea tie-backs to Dunlin.
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Before decommissioning its fields, Fairfield will consult pro-actively with a wide range of stakeholders.
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