The start of production from Arran, which is connected to Scottish petrochemical facilities, is intended to help rejuvenate the Shearwater gas hub. The field, expected to produce 21,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent, came on stream on September 22, 2021.
Arran is part of a cluster of fields in the Shearwater area that Shell is developing as part of a plan to send gas via the Fulmar pipeline to a terminal at St. Fergus on the Scottish coast.
From there, the company can supply petrochemical facilities at Mossmorran in Fife, rather than Shearwater gas going to Bacton in eastern England as it has been doing up to now. Arran is expected to produce 100 MMcf/d of gas and 4,000 b/d of condensate.
Another development related to Arran is Columbus, operated by Serica Energy. It is expected to come on stream immediately after Arran, using the same pipeline to Shearwater and on to St. Fergus.
Serica had a successful flow test at the first Columbus development well and initial production is expected to be around 7,000 boe/d, 75 percent of it being gas.
Although this is a positive development for Shell, it had several UK setbacks recently after an environmental regulator turned down its plans for the Jackdaw gas development – another Shearwater area field – as well as the government rejecting the Acorn CCS project in which Shell has a stake in, expected to help decarbonize the Fife petrochemical facilities by taking CO2 for storage under the North Sea.
With COP26 climate talks getting ever closer, environmentalists and politicians started raising doubts about the 800-million-barrel Cambo oil project West of Shetland – another Shell-backed project awaiting a final investment decision.