The Erskine Field will be the first High Pressure / High Temperature (HPHT)* field developed in the North Sea with first gas scheduled in October 19971 . The field development concept is to drill six wells and install a Not Normally Manned Installation ( NNMI ) with multiphase export of produced fluids to the Lomond platform 30 km away.
Appraisal drilling demonstrated that Erskine was a marginal field. A multi - discipline, integrated project team was organized to identify the best option for field development. Joint development with a host platform was adopted to improve development economics through reduced capital expenditure resulting from use of existing infrastructure. Several potential host platforms were considered. A fundamental technical objective, driven by commercial considerations, was to design a low cost development option which would allow export of produced fluids over a long distance. The increased "capture radius" opened up several competitive commercial opportunities for joint development by increasing the number of potential host platforms and export systems that could be accessed. The technical design and commercial negotiation process resulted in the Amoco operated Lomond platform being selected as the preferred host.
The cost of the NNMI was reduced by adopting cantilever jackup drilling and multiphase export. The cost of the multiphase pipeline was significantly reduced by qualifying carbon steel instead of corrosion resistant alloy (CRA) pipe. A high temperature insulation system was required for the multiphase pipeline to minimize problems with wax deposition and hydrate formation. Pipeline insulation costs were optimized with respect to operating costs for hydrate inhibition on a full field life basis.