The Captain oil and gas field is located in the North Sea, UK. Image courtesy of Ithaca Energy.
The enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programme at the Captain field involves the injection of polymerised water into the reservoir to enhance oil recovery and extend the field life. Image courtesy of J. Stephen Conn.
The EOR Stage 2 project involves drilling of ten new wells, including four production wells and six injection wells. Image courtesy of arbyreed.

The Captain oil and gas field located in the North Sea, UK has been in production since March 1997. It is undergoing an (EOR) project for the extension of the field life.

Ithaca Energy, a subsidiary of Delek Group, is the operator and holds an 85% interest in the Captain field, while the remaining 15% stake is held by Dana Petroleum, a wholly-owned subsidiary of state-owned Korea National Oil Corporation.

The field development partners made a final investment decision (FID) on the Captain Field enhanced oil recovery (EOR) stage-2 project in April 2021. The EOR programme involves the injection of polymerised water into the reservoir to enhance oil recovery and extend the field life.

Ithaca Energy picked up an 85% interest and assumed operatorship of the Captain field through the acquisition of Chevron North Sea in November 2019.


The Captain field is located in block 13/22a in the Outer Moray Firth in the central North Sea, approximately 145km northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. Discovered in 1977, the offshore field is spread over approximately 85km2, and the water depth in the field area is approximately 105.5m. The field was.

Captain field infrastructure

The Captain field comprises 36 production wells, 12 injection wells,  a wellhead protector platform (WPP), a bridge linked platform, two subsea manifolds, and a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

Shuttle tankers are used to transport crude oil from the FPSO to shore, while the gas is pumped through a subsea pipeline to the Frigg UK Gas Transportation System for transport to the St Fergus gas terminal in Scotland, UK.

Enhanced oil recovery programme

In the EOR stage-1 project of the Captain field which was sanctioned by field development partners in October 2017, limited modifications were carried out at the field to implement polymer EOR technology. At least seven infill wells, five production wells and two injection wells were drilled as part of this project.  The field development plan for EOR Stage 1 was approved by the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in November 2018.

The EOR stage-2 involves the drilling of ten new wells, including four production wells and six injection wells, and the installation of associated subsea infrastructure, including approximately 6km-long subsea pipelines and umbilicals. The project also involves modifications to the WPP and the FPSO.

The stage-2 EOR project targets oil recovery from the Upper Captain Sands reservoir through subsea wells.

The platform modifications are expected to be carried out in 2021, while the installation of subsea infrastructure and the drilling of wells are planned for 2022 and 2023, with the start of operations expected in early 2023.

Recently awarded contracts

TechnipFMC received an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the Captain EOR project from Ithaca Energy in May 2021. The value of the contract ranges from $75m (£53.2m) to $250m (£177.3m).

The contract scope spans the design, manufacture, delivery, and installation of subsea equipment, including a rigid riser caisson, water injection flexible flowline, umbilicals, and associated equipment.

Kemira secured a multi-year polymer supply agreement extension for a contract originally signed in 2018 with Ithaca Energy in September 2020. Kemira manufactures and supplies polymers to Ithaca Energy for its polymer EOR programme.

Petrofac Facilities Management was awarded a new five-year integrated services contract by Ithaca Energy in September 2020. The contract covers the oil and gas assets operated by Ithaca in the North Sea which includes Captain, Alba and Erskine.

The contract scope includes the operations, maintenance, engineering, construction, as well as the onshore and offshore technical support services.