Petrofac teams up with UK marginal fields developer

A joint venture created to recover stranded gas reserves through gas-to-wire (GTW) technology has teamed up with Petrofac.

Marginal Field Development Company (MFDevCo) and the UK-headquartered energy services giant will work together to engineer, deliver and operate GTW facilities.

MFDevCo is a 50:50 joint venture between Manchester firms Nu Oil and Gas and risk management firm RMRI.

Petrofac will provide engineering support and input to feasibility studies and opportunity screening, working with MFDevCo to secure projects that will use MFDevCo’s GTW approach.

The agreement has an initial term of two years.

Numerous “stranded fields” containing gas reserves have been identified in the UK North Sea, however many are currently too small to be commercially viable for recovery.

It is hoped that the use of GTW will make their recovery more economic.

GTW involves using gas produced from North Sea fields to be generated into electricity offshore, and then transmitted to the shore via spare capacity with subsea cables used for windfarms.

Due to the intermittence of wind, annual use of the infrastructure is typically around 40%, according to the Oil and Gas Authority, leaving plenty of spare capacity for GTW.

Alison Pegram, joint managing director of Nu-Oil and MFDevCo, said: “Maximising the economic recovery of gas resources currently considered stranded should be central to the move towards a cleaner energy future and gas to wire offers a means to do this.

“Petrofac has extensive experience in the operation, maintenance and management of gas production facilities in the UK so we’re very pleased to have secured their support for our gas to wire initiative as our project negotiations intensify.

“We believe this provides the final element required to allow us to move forward and demonstrates that, as a group, we have the capability necessary to deliver and operate these projects.”

Nick Shorten, managing director of Petrofac’s Engineering and Production Services business in the Western Hemisphere, said, “At a time when industry is so firmly focused on extending the life of the UK Continental Shelf, we’re delighted to be working with MFDevCo to offer new and existing clients a solution to get more from their gas reserves.

“By blending our capabilities and expertise, we believe we can provide costeffective
development solutions to unlock the full potential of marginal gas fields within the basin.”

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