The Scotsman: Shell's Goldeneye gives gas sector a welcome boost: “BRITAIN’S gas industry received a desperately needed boost yesterday as oil giant Shell announced the start of gas production from the Goldeneye field in the North Sea.” (ShellNews.net)
19 Oct 04
BRITAIN’S gas industry received a desperately needed boost yesterday as oil giant Shell announced the start of gas production from the Goldeneye field in the North Sea.
The gas condensate field, in the Outer Moray Firth, 100km north of the St Fergus oil and gas terminal near Peterhead, will be able to produce 3 per cent of Britain’s entire gas needs as the country moves to become a net importer of gas for the first time in three decades.
The field, developed at a cost of £300 million, has estimated reserves of 500 billion cubic feet of gas and 17 million barrels of condensate.
Mike O’Brien, Britain’s new energy minister, welcomed the announcement: "Goldeneye will help secure several thousand jobs in Scotland where gas lands at St Fergus and Shell’s Natural Gas Liquids Plant in Mossmorran. This venture highlights the continued development of the UK Continental Shelf.
"It is excellent news for the UK and confirms the opportunities which remain in the basin."
Kieron McFadyen, the technical director for Shell Exploration and Production in Europe, added: "The £300m project has started production safely, on time and on budget, demonstrating world-class project delivery. This is an excellent example of Shell’s ability to grow its integrated gas business.
"Goldeneye will provide around 3 per cent of the gas for the UK, so will make a significant contribution to securing energy for the UK in the future, as the country becomes a net importer of gas. Plateau gas production is estimated to be some 300m standard cubic feet of gas and associated liquids a day."
A spokeswoman for Shell explained that the oil giant and its co-ventures in the development, Esso Exploration and Production UK, Paladin Resources and Centrica Energy, had developed number of innovative solutions to bring gas ashore.
The jack-up rig being used for production drilling is operating in 400ft of water - three times the depth of fields in the southern North Sea.
Tom Botts, the chief executive of Shell Exploration and Production, said: "Goldeneye was first discovered in 1996 and it took some clever thinking to reach the final solutions. This is a clear demonstration of Shell’s world-class technical ability and of the value of developing long-life integrated gas projects.
"We employ some of the best engineers in the world in our centre of excellence in the north-east of Scotland, with skills and expertise we aim to use in innovative solutions on a global scale."
Gas will be delivered to the national transmission system at Transco in St Fergus while natural gas liquids and condensate will go to the Fife Natural Gas Liquids Plant in Mossmorran through an existing pipeline.