press release

Chevron Press Release - Alba Southern Area Development Option Selected

The following press release was issued by Chevron UK Ltd.

LONDON, July 16, 1997 -- New platform-based facilities, together with a subsea water injection well, will be installed, subject to final Government approval, as part of the continuing development of the Chevron-operated Alba oilfield in the central North Sea.

This follows eight months of studies into the best options for the next part of the Alba Phase II project to develop the southern area of the reservoir.

Alba Phase II has seen the southern area developed through extended reach drilling from the Alba Northern Platform which will process the additional fluids from this part of the field.

The upgrading of the platform topsides facilities has been in two stages. In the first stage, Phase IIA, production capacity has been increased from 75,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). Since upgrading, production has averaged 91,802 bopd.

The second stage, Phase IIB, involves further work needed to allow these production levels to be sustained by increasing the gross fluids handling capacity from 240,000 to 390,000 barrels of fluids per day. Among alternatives considered to support additional separation and water injection facilities, was the installation of a second platform, bridge-linked to Alba Northern. The study work has now shown that these facilities can be retro-fitted to the existing platform. Phase IIB will see the installation of three new modules weighing a total of 1,700 tones. Modifications to the existing facilities will also be carried out at this time. It is proposed that a single subsea water injection well should be connected by a new 6 km pipeline to the platform. The subsea facilities should be installed by the end of 1997 and the well should be drilled and on stream early in 1998.

Chevron has developed, with Alba Phase II contractor AMEC, a front-end engineering design for the Gross Fluid Handling Project and detailed design work began this month. Offshore installation of the new modules is scheduled for summer of 1998. A contract has been awarded to Brown and Root AOC for the fabrication, installation, hook-up and commissioning of the new facilities. Brown and Root AOC/AMEC/Chevron will form an alliance to complete the total workscope. Project management of the subsea work is being provided by ABB Lummus Global.

Note to editors:

The Alba oilfield, in North Sea Block 16/26, 130 miles north-east of Aberdeen, came on stream in January 1994. In the first phase a platform was installed in the north of the field exporting oil by tanker via a floating storage unit (FSU).

Facts and Figures:

  • Location: Block 16/26, 130 miles north-east of Aberdeen
  • Discovered: 1984, by Chevron
  • Government approval: May 1991
  • First production: 14 January 1994.
  • Estimated recoverable reserves: up to 400 million barrels of oil
  • Water Depth: Approx 138m
  • Licence Details: P213, awarded 1972 in 4th Round of Offshore Licensing
  • Estimated total oil in place: Approx 1 billion barrels
  • Production Capacity: Approximately 100,000 bopd
  • Water Depth: Approx 138 m
  • Initial Production Rate: Approximately 40,000 bopd
  • Daily average production May 1997: 88,516 barrels
  • Export: from Alba Floating Storage Unit (FSU) the first to be purpose-built for the UK sector of the North Sea. It 'weathervanes' about a turret which is secured by 12 anchor chains piled to the seabed.
  • FSU capacity: 825,000 barrels of oil
  • Shuttle tanker: crude oil is offloaded from the stern of the FSU to a dedicated shuttle tanker "MV Polyclipper" (78,000 dwt). It is double hulled and carries up to 500,000 barrels for delivery to north-west European refineries, normally offloading the FSU every 5-7 days. Built by Mitsui in Japan, it is contracted from Statoil and operated by Rasmussen
  • transhipment: since October 1995, the BP Nigg oil terminal near Inverness has been used to tranship US cargoes.
  • API (specific gravity) of oil: 19? - 20?

Alba Participants:

Chevron U.K. Limited (Operator)* 33.17%
Conoco (U.K.) Limited 9.33%
Conoco Petroleum Limited 2.35%
Fina Petroleum Development Limited 12.65%
Petrobras U.K. Limited 2.25%
Saga Petroleum UK Limited 11.75%
Statoil Exploration (U.K.) Limited* 5.00%
Unilon Oil Explorations Limited/Baytrust Oil Explorations Limited 8.00%
Union Texas Petroleum Limited 15.50%

*Subject to certain approvals, Statoil will acquire 12% of Chevron's interests.

Updated: July 1997