US oil giant Chevron said today that it would forge ahead with a North Sea project expected to unlock millions of additional barrels.
Chevron, which has been linked with an exit from the UK North Sea, said its enhanced oil recovery (EOR) project at the Captain field had been approved by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).
Captain was discovered about 90 miles north-east of Aberdeen in 1977.
Advances in horizontal drilling helped bring the field on steam in 1997 and in 2016 it produced about 24,000 barrels of liquids and 3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Chevron, which operates and owns 85% of Captain, will use EOR techniques to further increase output.
At the time, Chevron said it would boost recovery by 5-7% using “polymer technology” in the basin for the first time.
Company bosses said phase one would involve drilling six new polymer injection wells and upgrading the platform.
The polymers will make the heavy oil in Captain less viscous, allowing it to flow more easily.
Greta Lydecker, managing director of Chevron Upstream Europe, said: “Operational approval of the Captain EOR project progresses the application of a technology that has demonstrated an improved recovery rate, which can now be applied to other fields and help extend the life of assets.
“Advanced EOR technology in the North Sea supports the UK government’s strategy of Maximising Economic Recovery (MER UK) of its offshore energy resource.”
OGA operations director Gunther Newcombe said: “This is the 18th project to be sanctioned on the UKCS this year and reinforces the tremendous potential of the basin.
“Chevron’s investment in EOR technology, the first of this kind to be deployed in the North Sea is expected to unlock millions of extra barrels of oil, adding several years to the life of this mature asset, demonstrating strong progress towards Vision 2035.”
Oil and Gas UK chief executive Deirdre Michie said: “Chevron’s investment in and commitment to this new technology is a great example of how companies are addressing unique, area-specific challenges that can unlock significant remaining reserves and rejuvenate existing infrastructure in the Central North Sea.
“In doing so, Chevron is contributing to our shared ambition to deliver Vision 2035 and add another generation of production to the UKCS.”
More to follow.