Royal Dutch Shell has reached a final investment decision (FID) for the development of the Fram gas and condensate field in the UK North Sea.


Image: Royal Dutch Shell head office in The Hague, the Netherlands. Photo: courtesy of P.L. van Till at nl.wikipedia.

The oil and gas giant said that the FID gives more momentum to its production growth in the North Sea after its decision to redevelop the Penguins oil and gas field.

Estimated to have a life of 20-30 years, Fram is spread across Blocks 29/3a, 29/4c, 29/8a, 29/9c in the Central North Sea, and is contained in water depth of 100m.

At peak production, the offshore field is estimated to yield about 41 million standard cubic feet a day of gas and 5,300 barrels per day of condensate. Put together, the production equates to 12,400 barrels of oil equivalent per day, said Shell.

Shell upstream director Andy Brown said: “Fram is a simplified and cost-effective project that will allow us to develop this field profitably.

“Through our ongoing work with partners to maximise the economic recovery of the North Sea, we’ve been able to transform and revitalise Shell’s UK Upstream business by focusing on competitive projects and cost effective operations.”

Originally discovered in 1969, the Fram gas and condensate field is located 221km east of Aberdeen.

Its development will see drilling of two wells. The produced natural gas liquids from the wells will be sent through a new subsea pipeline to the existing Starling field and then on to the Shearwater platform via existing pipelines.

Shell UK and Ireland upstream vice president Steve Phimister said: “Shell has been able to reduce development costs by effectively collaborating across the supply chain and this has enabled us to invest in new projects such as Penguins and Fram.

“With our strong record of operational excellence and project execution, we will look to invest in further projects as we work to grow our business in the North Sea.”

Shell UK is the operator of the Fram field and owns a stake of 32%. The Shell subsidiary is partnered by ExxonMobil’s affiliate Esso Exploration & Production UK, which owns the remaining stake of 68%.