Hurricane Energy said today that it had reached a “critical milestone” on the road to first oil from the Lancaster field, west of Shetland.
The turret mooring system, including the newly-constructed buoy for the Aoka Mizu FPSO, has been installed at the field.
The Normand Installer offshore construction vessel, along with associated support vessels, carried out the task.
Analysts have estimated that the Greater Lancaster Area, which includes the Halifax well, could contain up to 1 billion barrels of oil, making it the biggest North Sea find since Buzzard in 2001.
Hurricane is developing an early production system on Lancaster to help it make an informed decision on a full field development.
The London-listed firm can now move onto the installation of the subsea umbilical, risers and flowlines (Surf).
Surf is the last phase of the offshore installation programme in preparation for the arrival of the Aoka Mizu FPSO at the site.
The buoy will now sit submerged below the surface, held in place by 12 mooring lines connected to piles, until the FPSO’s arrival.
Hurricane chief executive Robert Trice said: “We are delighted to have completed this weather sensitive turret mooring system installation.
“The Surf installation campaign is due to commence shortly, with the mobilisation of subsea equipment expected to begin in the coming weeks.
“We look forward to providing further updates in the run-up to first oil, which remains on track for 1H 2019.”