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Lloyds List: Shell takes big step at Smallfoot

By: Offshore Energy is edited by Martyn Wingrove +44 (0)20 7017 4629

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Lloyds List: Published: Nov 28, 2006

SHELL has submitted plans to develop the Shamrock and Caravel gas fields in the UK southern North Sea with two unmanned platforms, writes Martyn Wingrove.

The Anglo-Dutch oil major intends to install two Trident-design platforms over the gas fields in block 49’20 next summer to start production in December next year.

Both platforms will be powered from renewable energy sources as there will be solar panels and wind turbines on the topsides.

Shell will drill two wells from the Shamrock platform into fields that were once known as Lucy and Smallfoot, plus there will be two wells in the Caravel field.

A 5 km, 16-inch pipeline will carry Shamrock gas to the Caravel platform. Shell will also install a 32 km, 16-inch pipeline to the Corvette platform. Gas from both fields will be exported via the Leman facilities to a terminal in Bacton.

Piggybacking on the gas pipelines will be 3-inch lines carrying anti-corrosion agent monoethylene glycol.

The platforms will be in the middle of deepwater shipping lanes so an extension to the traffic separation scheme will reduce the risk of ship collisions, said Shell in its environmental report.

Shamrock and Caravel platforms are similar in design to Cutter monotower installed last year for the small gas field. ‘We have developed a simple but technologically elegant monotower platform standing on one leg, allowing development of smaller reservoirs,’ said Shell’s executive vice-president for Europe Tom Botts. ‘Unmanned, they are designed to be visited for maintenance once every two years and powered by wind and solar energy.’

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