Hurricane set for subsea installation ops on Lancaster

UK-based Hurricane Energy has reached the stage in its Lancaster Early Production System (EPS) development, located in the West of Shetland area, where it can start preparing for subsea installation operations, bringing the development closer to planned first oil date scheduled for the first half of 2019.

Hurricane made the Final Investment Decision on the development of the Lancaster EPS in September 2017. The company plans a phased development of the Lancaster field.

The first phase of the development is the EPS, using two wells tied back to the Bluewater-owned Aoka Mizu floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The FPSO is being upgraded for Lancaster at Drydocks’ Dubai shipyard.

On Thursday, March 29 Hurricane informed that, seeing that there are no further requirements for boulder relocation works at the seabed where the mooring system for the FPSO will be installed, the company is able to continue with subsea installation works during the second and third quarter of this year.

Namely, in order to reduce 2018 installation and execution risk, Hurricane took the opportunity provided by prevailing market rates and vessel availability, to instruct TechnipFMC to accelerate the planned 2Q 2018 boulder relocation program into 2017.

To remind, TechnipFMC won a contract for an engineering, procurement, construction, and installation contract for the Lancaster EPS in September 2017. The contract covers the provision of subsea equipment including umbilicals, risers, flowlines, and the subsea production system for the project.

Site surveys had identified boulders in the vicinity of the proposed locations for Lancaster EPS subsea infrastructure, which required relocating. To undertake the work program, TechnipFMC contracted the Solstad Farstad-owned Far Superior vessel and completed the planned work scope in November 2017.

Hurricane said that the results of this program have now been reviewed by Bluewater Energy Services, as the installation operator, and DNV GL, in its role as classification society. They have concluded that the extensive boulder relocation campaign has resulted in an acceptable seabed condition for the installation of the mooring system, taking the rocky soil condition into account.

According to Hurricane, they have therefore confirmed that a further dedicated boulder relocation program is not required prior to starting subsea installation operations in 2Q-3Q 2018. If any additional boulders are encountered during the subsea installation, these will be relocated, as required.

Dr Robert Trice, Chief Executive, commented: “I am pleased that the boulder relocation works completed in 2017 are sufficient to allow us to continue with our 2018 operations without the requirement for another dedicated boulder relocation program. This positive news further de-risks our installation program and brings us closer to our planned first oil date.”