The Angus field, with 7.3 MMstb original expected oil reserves is small by UK North Sea standards. It was discovered in 1983, but was left undeveloped until 1990 when a two well appraisal programme demonstrated that the field could be economically produced from these wells using the Petrojarl 1 floating production and storage offtake vessel, with tanker offloading. This novel arrangement allowed the project to be developed rapidly from appraisal, minimised capital investment, and financial risk, to the Angus partnership.

The performance of the field surpassed expectations, with ultimate recovery of 10.6 MMstb being recovered in 18 months. This, combined with the excellent operating performance of the Petrojarl, ensured the excellent financial performance of the development, and has demonstrated one way small isolated oil accumulations can be profitably exploited in offshore areas such as the UKCS.

This paper describes the Angus development, and also some of the technical and management problems caused by the relatively short field life. These included measures to reduce risk, and having to choose the field abandonment date while still on plateau.

The paper also discusses Angus profitability, and the effect UK tax changes will have on future exploration of small prospects.

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