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    Shell Expro announces first oil from Penguins

    News // January 31, 2003
    Shell UK Exploration and Production (Shell Expro), operator in the UK sector of the North Sea on behalf of Shell, Esso and co-venturers, has announced that first oil began to flow on 4th January from the Penguin fields in the northern North Sea, some 150km north-east of the Shetland Islands, via the Brent System to the Sullom Voe terminal.

    Primary and associated gas is also being produced via the FLAGS pipeline to the Shell/Esso gas terminal at St Fergus.

    The project was executed in a very short timeframe for a development of this scale and complexity, with initial production achieved just 516 days after sanction by shareholders and the DTI. First oil was achieved six months earlier than the date proposedin the Field Development Plan on which the project was approved.

    Mark Carne, Asset Director of Shell Expro, said: "I am delighted that the Penguins project has been delivered ahead of schedule. This reflects extremely well on the team comprising Shell and more than a dozen major contracting companies who have worked together so well. Only by using and developing state of the art technologies are we able to make this type of marginal field attractive. So, not only is Penguins important for us today, but it also gives us some confidence for the future of the UKCS within the North Sea."

    Brian Wilson, Energy Minister, welcomed the news, saying: "First oil from the Penguin fields, discovered in the 70s but fallow until now, has been made possible by new technology and the longest ever UKCS sub-sea tieback. Penguins will make an importantcontribution to UK oil and gas production and help the industry reach recovery targets for 2010."

    The Penguins field cluster development is expected to produce a total of 50 million barrels of oil and 175 billion standard cubic feet of gas over a nine-year field life. Peak rates are expected to be 40,000 b/d of oil and 70 mmscf/d of gas. Penguins hasbecome a prime example of how Shell Expro is applying new technology and is pushing the limits of current operating experience to extend the producing life of the UKCS. Although the first Penguin field was discovered in 1974, advances in subsea technology and greater well engineering efficiency have only now allowed the cluster to be developed. Sub-sea completions are tied-back via a single 16-inch diameter production pipeline to the Brent Charlie Platform, which at 65km is the longest sub-sea tie-backin the North Sea.

    The Penguin fields are located in Blocks 211/13a and 211/14 (both 100 per cent Shell/Esso). The Brent field is located some 50km south of the nearest Penguin field.

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