The huge Culzean gas condensate field is considered capable of covering up to 5% of UK’s gas demand, and Total just started production after pumping £3.5bn in developments. It is served by three bridge-linked platforms and a dedicated floating storage and offloading unit. Gas from Culzean is exported via the CATS pipeline and the UK National Grid whilst condensate is stored in the FSO for offloading by shuttle tanker.
Total operates Culzean with a 49.99% interest, with BP (32%) and JX Nippon (18.01%) as partners.
The field was discovered in 2008 and containing approx. 300 MMboe. It is expected to pump 100.000 boe per day (plateau production), making Culzean one of the North Sea’s biggest field. It was acquired by Total from Maersk Oil in 2018 for £5.8bn.
Total managed within the budget and ahead schedule to deliver first gas, determining CAPEX savings of more than £390m.
The Culzean success comes after another major discovery by Total and partners, Glendronach, west of Shetland, and Glengorm, operated by Cnooc and located in the central North Sea.
The Culzean development was also backed-up by the support measures introduced by the UK Government in its Budget in March 2015, particularly the new high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) cluster area allowance.
The cluster allowance was intended to support the development of HPHT projects, which are more technically challenging and have considerably higher capital costs, while also encouraging new exploration and appraisal activity.
Total’s experience of operating challenging high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) fields makes it the ideal operator of Culzean.
The firm is one of Britain’s leading oil and gas operators, with net production of 179,000 boe per day in 2018 coming from operated offshore fields in three major zones: the Alwyn-Dunbar area in the northern North Sea, the Elgin-Franklin area in the central North Sea, and the Laggan-Tormore area in the West of Shetland area.