Exploration and production firm Hurricane Energy said today that it had achieved first oil from its flagship Lancaster field, west of Shetland.
The London-listed company said the Aoka Mizu vessel’s start-up phase had been completed with a 72-hour production test.
Hurricane said Lancaster had become the UK’s “first producing fractured basement field”.
The field’s two production wells reached and maintained the target output rate of 20,000 barrels of oil per day during the test.
Led by chief executive Robert Trice, Hurricane was set up to deliver hydrocarbons from naturally fractured basement reservoirs in the Rona Ridge area, west of Shetland.
Lancaster, discovered in 2009, holds resources of more than 500 million stock tank barrels of oil and is wholly-owned by Hurricane.
But there is a degree of uncertainty about the possibility of delivering a large volume of those reserves, due to the fractured and unpredictable nature of the basin.
That’s why Hurricane is initially developing Lancaster using an early production system (EPS) to learn more about the field and determine how to progress to a full-field development.
Dr Trice said: “I am delighted to announce that first oil has been achieved and that the Lancaster field is now on production, beginning the phased development of Hurricane’s considerable resources on the Rona Ridge.
“Lancaster is the UK’s first producing fractured basement field and the fact that Hurricane has delivered this industry milestone on time and within budget is an incredible achievement.
“I would like to thank the staff of Hurricane, our Tier 1 contractors, and our shareholders for having the vision to make Lancaster happen.
“We have successfully achieved our start-up data acquisition objectives and commenced the evaluation of this material.
“Up to 12 months of stable production will be required in order to provide a clear view of the reservoir and enable us to plan for associated full field development scenarios.”