Contrary to much of the gloomy economic news regarding N. Sea oil jobs and prices, there was a ray of good news from the industry after French oil giant Total confirmed that has now started pumping out gas and condensate from phase two of its West Franklin field.
This will supply 40,000 barrels of oil-equivalent per from the field about 180 miles east of Aberdeen. West Franklin was discovered by Total in 2003 and phase-one production started in 2007 with two wells drilled from the Franklin platform.
Total also confirmed that it will commence production from its new third hub – located in the West of Shetland area with the start-up of the Laggan-Tormore project – during 2015.
West Franklin Phase 2 will develop reserves of 85 million barrels of oil equivalent. The project includes the drilling of three new production wells and the installation of two new platforms, the West Franklin wellhead platform and the Elgin B platform which will be also used to drill new wells on Elgin.
Michael Borrell, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration & Production, Europe and Central Asia, commented: “With the start-up of the West Franklin Phase 2 project, Total consolidates the production capacity of its operated Elgin/Franklin hub.
“The hub holds significant reserves as well as promising exploration opportunities”.
More than 90% of Total’s production in the UK comes from several operated fields located offshore in two major zones – the Alwyn/Dunbar area in the northern North Sea and the Elgin/Franklin area in the Central Graben.
As well as being the operator of the Franklin field, Total is also the major shareholder in the farm-in project, with minor stakes being held by Eni, BG, E.On, Exxon and Chevron.