IOG: Platform Construction on Track for North Sea Project


UK-based oil firm Independent Oil & Gas has informed that work on the construction of the two platforms being built for its North Sea development project was progressing well with delivery scheduled for 1Q 2021. The company also said it would appoint new COO in the coming weeks.

IOG last year saw its field development plan for Core Project Phase 1 in the UK North Sea approved by the UK Oil and Gas Authority.

The Core Project comprises gas resources across six discovered UK Southern North Sea ("SNS") gas fields. Phase One, approved by the OGA, will focus on the development of Blythe, Elgood, and Southwark fields.

As part of the project, in August 2020, IOG awarded the Engineering, Procurement, Construction, and Installation (EPCI) contract for two normally unmanned platforms to Dutch contractor HSM Offshore BV. The company also in November hired Noble Corp's Hans Deul jack-up rig to drill the five Phase 1 production wells, one each of which are planned at the Blythe and Elgood fields and three at the Southwark field. The fields all lie in 20-30 meter water depth in the UK Southern North Sea ("SNS")."

"Intensive work has continued across all key Phase 1 development disciplines, as well as increasing project integration activities, focused on efficient completion, installation, and commissioning of infrastructure in conjunction with the drilling program over the coming months," the company said Monday.

"Fabrication of the Phase 1 Southwark and Blythe platforms at HSM's yard in Schiedam remains on track for mechanical completion later in Q1 2021. Construction of both jackets is proceeding alongside installation and testing of topside equipment including risers, helidecks, controls, communications and integrity management systems. Transport and installation (T&I) of the platforms at the field locations is planned for Q2 2021, in coordination with drilling operations," the company added.

Also, IOG added, that over Q4 2020, IOG's subsea and pipelines contractor Subsea 7 undertook the offshore campaign to install the Blythe 12-inch and Elgood 6-inch lines. This was a key part of the Phase 1 subsea and pipelines scope.

Further, detailed well design for the drilling campaign is on track to complete in Q1, with the first development well now expected to spud by early Q2.  

Breakthrough year

Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, commented: "This is set to be another breakthrough year for IOG, when we deliver our first production and revenue, paving the way for sustained value generation for shareholders. Having made real progress in 2020 in difficult conditions, we expect to complete the fabrication of our Phase 1 platforms this quarter and start development drilling by early Q2. We recently completed important steps towards achieving First Gas in Q3 including the LAPS tie-ins at Bacton and the offshore Blythe-Elgood pipelay campaign.

"We now have our full development team in place, led by in-house specialist senior managers across all disciplines. This is important both for Phase 1 execution and to maximize wider portfolio value. We also expect to confirm the selection of a highly experienced new COO in the coming weeks.

"IOG's ambition is to be a safe, efficient, low-carbon intensity gas producer helping to provide reliable domestic energy supply as the UK transitions to Net Zero by 2050. In that context, we were pleased to adopt a new Climate Change and Sustainability Policy late last year and are initiating a comprehensive independent emissions certification process which we hope will confirm IOG's low environmental impact business model.

"We are also very encouraged by the significant gas market recovery, with UK NBP day-ahead prices reaching over 55p/therm and Winter-21 prices over 50p/therm last week - higher than at any point in 2020."   

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