Spirit Energy has announced that they have begun planning for the decommissioning of the Chestnut oilfield in the Central North Sea.
Thanks to continued investment from operator Spirit Energy and partner Dana Petroleum, additional wells and class leading production efficiency on the Hummingbird Spirit Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel which sits on Chestnut, the field has produced almost quadruple the initial reserve estimates and has survived for more than a decade after it was first expected to be shut in.
Chestnut – which first came on stream in 2008 with an expected two-year production life – is still producing oil via three wells, the last of which was drilled in 2020. The field, nearly 200 km east of Aberdeen, has now produced more than 27 million barrels of oil, having initially been expected to yield only around 7 million barrels.
All good things…
After an impressive and perhaps unexpected lifespan, Spirit Energy and the FPSO owner Teekay have now started the first stages of preparing to decommission the field.
Under the proposed decommissioning plans, the FPSO will be removed and Teekay will assess potential reuse options or ultimately recycle the vessel in an environmentally safe and responsible manner in accordance with applicable UK/EU regulations. The risers will also be flushed, cleaned and taken back to shore.
The start date for the offshore campaign is dependent on final cessation of production from the field.
Mark Fotheringham, Capital Projects Director at Spirit Energy, commented, “Chestnut has been a key field in Spirit Energy’s portfolio for many years and thanks to the excellent work of teams both on and offshore, it has continued to perform above expectation.
“While it continues to produce today, we need to look to our responsibilities in the future and have the right plans in place for when the time does come to start decommissioning the field. As its production life nears an end, we are now looking forward to a safe removal campaign.
“The collaborative spirit which characterised the production phase of Chestnut’s life will continue as we support Teekay in any repurposing opportunities for the vessel, as well as working with our supply chain on an efficient campaign to plug and abandon the wells.”