North Sea Reporter


North Sea Reporter is an established and respected weekly publication which provides in-depth news and analysis of the NW European offshore oil and gas industry. 


Harbour Energy is facing a delay of five or six months in the start-up of its Tolmount gasfield, in block 42/28d in the UK Southern North Sea, after discovering issues with offshore electrical systems during final commissioning and testing of the project’s production platform. Harbour, in a statement, says the issues “are now being investigated and rectification plans are being developed”. However, the operator acknowledged that “Tolmount first gas will be delayed beyond the end of July and is now likely to be around year-end”. Harbour last month had said that two of Tolmount’s four production wells had already been completed and a third was being drilled with the jack-up Valaris JU-123 and that with the field facilities undergoing final commissioning it was expecting production to start around the end of this month. Harbour operates Tolmount with a 50% interest alongside Korea National Oil Company-owned Dana Petroleum, which owns the other 50%.

Rig market

Shell has finished drilling production wells with Diamond Offshore's Ocean Endeavor in its Arran field, in block 23/16b in the Central North Sea, and the rig this week was preparing to head off to drill a subsea production well in the Gannet B field, in block 21/25. The Ocean Endeavor completed four production wells in the Arran field: 23/16b-13 and 23/16b-14 in Arran South and 23/16b-15Z and 13/16b-16 in Arran North. The rig started the drilling campaign in August last year and the regulatory completion date of the final well was on 13 July, according to Oil and Gas Authority data. Shell has not given any guidance on when the Arran field will start production. However, Serica Energy, operator of the Columbus development, which will be tied into the same infrastructure, said last month in a presentation for its annual general meeting it expected Arran to start up this quarter. Arran is being developed through a 60-km tieback to the operator’s operated Shearwater hub.

Field development

Aker BP is aiming to sanction its planned Skarv satellites development in the Norwegian Sea next year and is also working towards a new multi-well exploration campaign in the area to prove up additional reserves. The Norwegian independent also revealed that the Ørn discovery in PL942, which was made by Equinor in 2019 in 6507/2-5S, will be developed as a tieback to Skarv and will form part of the satellites development alongside other finds that include Shrek, Idun North and Alve North. Aker BP said the Ørn partnership decided in the second quarter that Skarv would be the host platform for its development. Aker BP will now take over operatorship of the discovery, which Equinor has pegged as holding reserves in the range of 50-88 million barrels of oil equivalent, on an unchanged interest of 30%. The Skarv FPSO has already seen one tieback start production this year in the form of the single-well Gråsel development, which came on stream last month four months ahead of schedule.


Weekly coverage includes:

  • Rig Market - contracts, dayrates and utilisation
  • Drilling – a round-up of North Sea activity  
  • Construction and engineering
  • Field development and production
  • Contract awards
  • Company news
  • Data tables of industry activity
  • Mediterranean & W. Africa briefing
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