Same Field, Different Views
Deepwater wind turbines are not the only innovations breathing new economic life into the Beatrice Field.
On January 1 Ithaca Energy Ltd. paid US $21 million for Talisman’s 100 percent interest in the 1,800 barrel/day Beatrice Field, plus the surrounding 114,500-acre license.
Ithaca, a Calgary-based junior oil company, has identified two exploration prospects on the Beatrice acreage, including a new exploration play concept. The jack-up rig, Galaxy II, is expected to arrive at Beatrice in late January to spud Ithaca’s first exploration well.
Ithaca assumed operations of:
- The three Beatrice platforms.
- The 1.5-million-barrel storage and transshipment terminal at Nigg on Scotland’s east coast.
- The 60,000 barrel/day, 16-inch export pipeline from the Beatrice Alpha platform to Nigg.
Under the terms of the sale, Talisman retained the obligation for decommissioning the field’s facilities, as well as the ownership and operation of the two wind turbines.
Nick Muir, a geophysicist, is Ithaca’s chief exploration officer. Based in Aberdeen, Muir described Beatrice as “an aging field taking up Talisman’s resources.”
Beatrice, however, represented a strategic acquisition for Ithaca and constituted the company’s first North Sea production. Ithaca has immediate plans to tie in Jacky, its nearby oil discovery made in May 2007.
Located five kilometers from the Alpha platform, Jacky has a pay column of 47 feet in the Beatrice A Sand, and is expected to deliver an initial production of 10,000 barrels a day by year’s end.
When Ithaca ties in Jacky to the Alpha platform, it also will restore the 800 barrels a day of shut-in production at the Bravo platform.
“At Beatrice, we have exploration opportunities, a development pipeline and storage facilities; we’ve got the whole chain with the upstream,” Muir said. “It’s a great boost to the company – we’ve been looking for an opportunity like this for a while.”
Muir explained that while larger oil companies are looking for huge discoveries in the North Sea or elsewhere, small companies like Ithaca are targeting the remaining marginal opportunities in the North Sea.
He described “marginal” opportunities as 10- to 15-million barrel discoveries.
According to Muir, the Polly prospect is analogous to Beatrice – it consists of a step-down fault block from the Beatrice Field and targets the same Middle and Lower Jurassic sandstone reservoirs.
The Manuel prospect, however, has never been tested – it consists of a stratigraphic trap plus four-way structural closure, and targets multiple Jurassic sands.