Back to where it started, with a little bit moreSolan platform, West of Shetland. Photo: Premier Oil.

Back to where it started, with a little bit more

With Chrysaor’s takeover of Premier being sealed by an all share merger, the company is back to where it began in 2007.

As announced yesterday, Premier Oil has now been fully incorporated in Chrysaor through an all share merger. The resulting organisation – that will now continue operating under the name Harbour Energy – will thereby become the UK’s biggest oil and gas producer, followed by Total and BP.

Harbour UK is expected to produce around 200,000-220,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with a roughly 50% split between gas and oil. Key assets coming through from Chrysaor include the Greater Britannia and the J-Area (Joanne, Judy, Jade fields). In Norway, Harbour’s presence is centered in the North Sea where the company first entered in March 2018 via acquisition of an interest in the PL038D licence holding the Grevling discovery. It recently completed its first exploration well in the Norwegian sector and will drill another one soon.

A bit of history

Chrysaor Limited was incorporated into Companies House in 2007. The same year, it took over the P164 licence in block 205/26a in the West of Shetland area from Lundin. The licence included the Solan discovery, serendipitously found by well 205/26a-4 drilled by Amerada Hess in 1991 when the Triassic was still the main target.

Chrysaor drilled five wells additional wells on Solan before Premier farmed in in 2011 and subsequently took over operatorship. A four well development drilling campaign was carried out by Premier between 2014 and 2017, the period during which Chrysaor decided to sell its stake in Solan altogether.

The Solan field started production in 2016, but did not turn out to be a great success because of unexpected baffles between the two producer-injector pairs. So far, the field has produced 7.5 MMboe in an accumulation that is expected to hold between 55 and 85 MMboe in place.

In the meantime

In the meantime, Premier Oil developed the successful 100 MMboe Catcher field in years of much uncertainty around the oil price – the project was sanctioned in June 2014, a month before the oil price started to tumble. However, Premier Oil has been reported to have recouped its investment last year, with years of production and nearby exploration opportunities still in the pipeline.

Also, Premier is currently developing the 110 MMboe (in place) Tolmount gas field in the Southern North Sea, with first gas expected soon.

In conclusion, it is likely that Premier Oil got onto Chrysaor’s radar more for Catcher and Tolmount than for Solan, but with the field now back in the family there may be another chance to drill some additional wells.

HENK KOMBRINK

For more information about the Solan field, please see this paper published last year.

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