British independent upstream oil and gas company Serica Energy has achieved first production at its Columbus offshore field in the Central North Sea.

Opened into the Arran subsea system, the C1z development well started flowing hydrocarbons on 24 November.

For processing and onward export to the gas and liquid sales points, the comingled Arran and Columbus production streams are now being shipped to the Shearwater platform.

By early December, the Columbus field is expected to start producing hydrocarbons at its potential.

Serica Energy chief executive Mitch Flegg said: “This marks a significant milestone for Serica as it reaches the successful conclusion of its first development project.

“The company was involved in the discovery of Columbus and has acted as operator through the appraisal and development phases and now into operations.

“Serica’s approach to increasing its production base and providing much needed energy to the UK, while seeking lower carbon emission solutions, has been achieved by using shared and existing infrastructure to progress the development of Columbus.”

Situated 35km north east of the Shearwater production facilities, the Columbus production well is tied into the existing Arran to Shearwater pipeline.

As per the recent Competent Person’s Report, the Columbus field is expected to include gross undeveloped 2P reserves of more than 14 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

The field was connected to the Arran pipeline following the recent drilling of the development well. It allows to ship the Columbus production along with Arran Field production.

The gas and liquids will be separated when the production reaches the Shearwater platform. The gas will be shipped through the Segal line, while the liquids through the Forties pipeline system to Cruden Bay.

With 50% stake, Serica is the operator of the field. In addition, the company has an 18% non-operated interest in the producing Erskine field in the UK Central North Sea.