Total brings Culzean on stream, ahead of time and under budget
French major Total today brought the high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) Culzean field, in the UK central North Sea, on stream.
Culzean, discovered in 2008 and holding 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas, was the biggest UK gas discovery since Elgin in 1991.
Glenn Morrall, a research associate with Wood Mackenzie’s North Sea upstream team, said: “Once the field hits peak in the early 2020s, Culzean could account for more than 10% of the UK’s gas production.
“The project was brought on stream ahead of schedule and under budget, with Total shaving US$500 million off the development costs since it was sanctioned in 2015. Development costs now sit at around US$4.5 billion.”
Morrall added: “Culzean is the third UK project to start production this year, but the biggest by a long way. It shows that there is still appetite for big developments in UK waters.
“There is some risk, though. Culzean gas is HP/HT, which makes it more challenging to operate successfully. However, Total brings a wealth of experience in operating HP/HT fields, for example at the nearby Elgin-Franklin fields.
“For the French major, production from Culzean will play a big part in it being the biggest UK gas producer for the foreseeable future.
“The UK continues to deliver for Total, with the Culzean news following on from recent exploration success as an operator at Glendronach and partner at Glengorm.”
At peak production, Culzean will produce about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. It lies in Block 22/25 in the central North Sea’s East Central Graben.