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Shell completes transfer of Dunlin cluster to Fairfield

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The Scotsman: Shell completes transfer of Dunlin cluster to Fairfield

Published Date: 02 May 2008

By Frank Urqhart

OIL giant Shell yesterday announced the completion of the transfer of ownership of the Dunlin cluster of fields in the northern North Sea, only a week after revealing plans to axe up to 300 jobs at its Aberdeen offices.

The sale of the assets to the British company Fairfield Energy and two subsidiaries of the Mitsubishi Corporation was agreed in December.

Under the terms of the confidential deal, Fairfield has acquired 70 per cent of the equity holding and operation of the field, while Mitsubishi has bought the remaining equity.

The Dunlin cluster comprises the Dunlin and Dunlin South West fields and two subsea tie-back facilities, Osprey and Merlin, 195 kilometres north-east of Shetland. Current production is approximately 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Under the agreement, Shell Dunlin staff will transfer to Amec, the Aberdeen-based company which has been appointed operational duty holder, in line with the Transfer of Undertakings legislation.

A Shell spokesman said: “Although no longer core to our portfolio, Dunlin is a significant asset, which Fairfield is well-placed to manage during the next stage of field life.

“Shell remains committed to the North Sea, operating assets where we can add most value and maintaining our key strategic position in security of energy supply to the UK.”

Mark McAllister, the chief executive of Fairfield Energy, said: “The Dunlin cluster is a significant acquisition and fits well with our growing portfolio of North Sea assets.

“We strongly believe in the long-term future of the assets and welcome the opportunity of taking them to the next stage of their field life.”

Meanwhile Shell yesterday also announced first gas production from its new Caravel field in the southern sector of the North Sea – a facility which is being developed in partnership with Esso Exploration.

Caravel was discovered in November 2002 and the production platform is being powered using renewable energy sources – wind turbines and solar power – a system already in operation at two North Sea installations.

John Gallagher, the vice-president technical for Shell exploration and production in Europe, said: “We are very proud of this novel application of engineering technology.”

John Dashwood, a spokesman for Esso, said: “We are pleased that Caravel has produced its first gas. It is an example of the use of an innovative approach to expand UK gas supplies. This project is further demonstration of our commitment to the development of oil and gas resources in the North Sea.”

Gas from Caravel will be transported to Shell’s gas processing plant at Bacton. Production is estimated to reach 100 million cubic feet of gas per day, with daily light oil condensates of 3,000 barrels per day.

http://business.scotsman.com/industry/Shell-completes-transfer-of-Dunlin.4044169.jp

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