Gas starts to flow for Tullow

OIL and gas exploration firm Tullow Oil has started production at the Horne and Wren North Sea gas field, the London and Dublin quoted oil and gas group, said yesterday.

The field is co-owned with British utility Centrica, and it has started production at a rate of 60 million cubic feet of gas a day.

This is Tullow’s first operated development in Britain. The group, headquartered in London, said in a statement yesterday the field went live on June 9.

The flow rate will be ramped up to 90 million cubic feet a day.

Meantime, Tullow announced the Opal exploration well, also in the North Sea and operated by Gaz de France’s British unit, had encountered gas-bearing sands.

Information from this well is being analysed to ascertain the potential size of reserves, said Tullow.

The development, a 50:50 joint venture between Tullow and Centrica, consists of two horizontal wells, an unmanned installation and a pipeline to the Thames platform in which Tullow has a 67% interest.

The gas is compressed for export to the Tullow-operated Bacton Terminal.

Tullow first acquired a minority interests in the Horne and Wren discoveries from BP in 2001.

Then followed a series of transactions that resulted in Tullow operating the development with a 50% interest. The fast-track development was initiated following project sanction in June 2004 and the development plan was approved by the Department of Trade and Industry in Britain in October 2004.

On June 8, 2005 Tullow completed the sale of two subsidiaries to Itochu Corporation for $112 million in a deal that was first announced on April 12 this year.

“The Horne and Wren gas achievement and the Opal discovery are further evidence of the excellent progress we are making in our Southern North Sea gas business,” said chief executive Aidan Heavy.

“In conjunction with a strong British gas market, these events will create significant value for Tullow and enhance our position within the CMS and Thames/Hewett areas.”

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