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North Sea oil project inching closer to FID as FEED work moves forward on schedule

As Jersey’s primary goal since taking over sole ownership in 2021 was to secure the means and the finance to move the Greater Buchan Area (GBA) project forward into the development phase of activities, the farm-out deals with NEO Energy and Serica Energy enabled the firm to do just that. 

Closing out the selection of the GBA development solution and picking a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel enabled the Buchan redevelopment project to continue to make good progress. The partners in the project are NEO Energy (50%, operator), Serica Energy (UK) Limited (30%), and JOG (20%).

According to Jersey, the completion of the necessary pre-sanction front-end engineering and design (FEED) work, being carried out by Apollo, is on track and the first offshore survey vessel mobilization occurred earlier this month to obtain the geophysical and geotechnical data required to finalize the subsea and drilling rig contract tendering process and inform the FPSO mooring design.

With the future connection of the FPSO to one of the anticipated floating wind power developments in the area in mind, the company explains that engagement is ongoing with the companies that were awarded acreage in the Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) licensing round conducted by Crown Estate Scotland in 2023.

Furthermore, Jersey underlines that securing a source of green power feeds into the post-start-up electrification plan for the FPSO and does not defer the target date for the first oil. The draft Buchan field development plan was submitted to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) in December 2023.

In addition, the environmental statement was handed over to the UK’s offshore regulator at the beginning of 2024 for the environment and decommissioning. These submissions, subject to project sanction from the joint venture partners, are said to pave the way for obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals for the Buchan redevelopment project in the second half of 2024.

Andrew Benitz, Jersey’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “JOG had an exceptional 2023 and we are delighted to have NEO and Serica as our partners on the Greater Buchan Area, which is one of the largest and most exciting developments of homegrown energy in the UK North Sea. 

“Together with our joint venture partners and support from our shareholders we have delivered an investment opportunity that is expected to support over 1,000 jobs across many parts of the UK supply chain, provide private investment of around £900 million into the UK economy and generate hundreds of millions in forecast UK tax receipts.” 

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