Serica Energy and its partners have secured approval of their field development plan (FDP) for the Columbus field in the North Sea from the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA).


Image: OGA approves Columbus field development plan. Photo: courtesy of num_skyman/

According to Serica Energy, peak production from the Columbus field is estimated to be 7,800 gross barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day while the gross (2C) contingent resources are 13.4 million boe.

Located in Blocks 23/16f and 23/21a, the offshore field discovered in 2006 is a gas-condensate accumulation in the Forties Sandstone Formation, which has been fully appraised by four wells.

Serica Energy CEO Mitch Flegg said: “The project team have worked closely with the OGA and the host infrastructure owners since the Field Development Plan was submitted in June 2018 to achieve this successful outcome.

“The development is important in its own right and will also enhance our understanding of nearby exploration acreage which was secured by Serica in the UK 30th Licence Round.”

As per the FDP, the Columbus development area will be drained using a single well, which will be linked to the Arran-Shearwater pipeline. The recently approved pipeline will deliver the production from the field alongside the Arran field production to the Shearwater platform facilities.

Once the production arrives at the Shearwater facilities, it will be separated into gas and liquids and exported to onshore terminals.

Serica Energy expects to begin production from the Columbus field in mid-2021.

The company with a stake of 50% is the operator of the offshore UK field and is partnered by EOG Resources and Endeavour Energy, which hold stakes of 25% each.

Oil and Gas Authority Chief Executive Andy Samuel said: “Columbus is the final component of the OGA’s Central Graben Area Plan, which also included the recently sanctioned Fram and Arran fields, unlocking over 50 million boe recoverable reserves which had struggled for decades to be developed.

“It is good to see how the industry has collaborated on many fronts to deliver additional value as part of our Maximising Economic Recovery in the UK agenda and we look forward to Columbus delivering first hydrocarbons in 2021.”