Ersk­ine field’s restart de­layed

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - BUSINESS - BY MARK LAMMEY

Ser­ica En­ergy said yes­ter­day the Ersk­ine field’s re­turn to pro­duc­tion had been de­layed un­til the end of this month.

The ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion com­pany had ex­pected to restart pro­duc­tion from the North Sea field on Septem­ber 13.

Out­put was sus­pended on July 31 for fa­cil­i­ties main­te­nance to be car­ried out.

The Ersk­ine field pro­duces via an un­manned plat­form, with pro­duc­tion be­ing con­trolled from the nearby Lomond in­stal­la­tion.

Lon­don-based Ser­ica said re­pairs still had to be com­pleted on Lomond, cur­rently op­er­ated by Shell.

Ser­ica also said the op­er­a­tor of the For­ties Pipe­line Sys­tem (FPS) had asked for ex­tra checks to be car­ried out af­ter a treat­ment used to clear wax de­posits in the Lomond to Ever­est pipe­line.

“Out­put was sus­pended for fa­cil­i­ties main­te­nance”

Ser­ica chair­man Tony Craven Walker added: “The mon­i­tor­ing re­quired by the FPS op­er­a­tor and the need to un­der­take cais­son re­pairs (on Lomond) af­fects the restart of Ersk­ine pro­duc­tion but is not ex­pected to ma­te­ri­ally af­fect for­ward pro­duc­tion plans.”

Pro­duc­tion from Ersk­ine was in­ter­rupted for six months in 2016 by a pipe­line block­age.

The shut-in contributed to a 23% drop in Ser­ica’s pre-tax prof­its, which to­talled £2.4mil­lion last year.

Al­ter­na­tive In­vest­ment Mar­ket-listed Ser­ica holds an 18% in­ter­est in Ersk­ine, 150miles east of Aberdeen. Chevron op­er­ates and owns 50%, while Shell has 32%.

Lomond will trans­fer to Chrysaor once its pur­chase of a pack­age of North Sea as­sets from Shell goes through.

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