Independent Oil & Gas PLC (IOG) has completed front-end engineering and design of its Southern North Sea (SNS) natural gas project and integrity testing of its Thames pipeline, which it will recommission to bring SNS gas to shore at Bacton terminal. IOG is completing preparation for its final investment decision on SNS, having substantially completed bidding processes and advanced negotiations with preferred parties.
The company expects FID in this year’s fourth quarter, with unit construction following in 2019, installation first-half 2020, and start of gas flow in late second-quarter 2020.
IOG on Sept. 6 ran an internal crawler-based measurement device from the Bacton terminal to 800 m offshore, a section at a higher risk of degradation since the line’s 2015 decommissioning to assess Thames internal and external condition.
Results of this inspection allowed IOG to determine 150 bar as a safe maximum test pressure for 24-hr hydrotesting conducted Sept. 21-23. The maximum operating pressure required under IOG’s field development plan (FDP) is about 80 bar, with the 150-bar test translating to a maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of 100 bar.
The gap between FDP pressure and MAOP will allow for expansion of future operating capacity up to roughly 550 MMcfd of gas. IOG says this rate will comfortably encompass all planned production from its 632-bcf portfolio (303-bcf 2P reserves and 329-bcf midcase resources) while leaving ullage for any fields acquired in the future or tariff-paying third-party gas.
Alongside the pipeline integrity operations, FEED studies have been completed for all key areas needed to make an SNS Phase 1 FID, including refurbishment of Thames pipeline’s onshore Thames reception equipment at Bacton terminal. For safety reasons, Phase 1 offshore installation is scheduled to begin immediately after the 2019-20 winter season, rather than in fourth-quarter 2019, leading to the expected first gas date towards end second-quarter 2020.
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