UK-based energy giant Shell has announced that production has restarted at the Pierce field in the UK waters of the North Sea after substantial modifications to the production vessel.
Despite being discovered in 1975, oil production only began at the Pierce field in 1999. Like most wells, Pierce has also been yielding natural gas, which was reinjected back into the reservoir. In 2019, Shell took the decision to invest in changes that would allow the field to also produce gas.
As a result, the floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) Haewene Brim ceased production in October 2021 and went into dry dock for six months while it underwent the necessary modifications. At the same time, a brand-new subsea line was installed to transport gas from the FPSO to the SEGAL pipeline system and onwards to the St Fergus Gas Terminal in Aberdeenshire.
Shell, which also makes lubricant products like the Shell Gadus grease, has the broad ambition of investing around £20-25 billion in the energy system of the UK, subject to the projects remaining economically feasible under the tax regime.
The director for upstream at Shell, Zoe Yujnovich, said:
“The completion of this major project is a testament to Shell’s long-standing commitment to the UK North Sea. We took this investment decision in 2019, and it is now increasing locally produced gas right at the time when this additional supply is critically important for the UK’s energy security.”
She added that it was very satisfying to see such projects realised.