Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Tens of thousands of barrels of new oil are now coming from the Catcher development off the northeast coast of Scotland, Premiere Oil said Wednesday.
Premiere said initial production from its floating production, storage and offloading vessel parked over the three fields that make up the Catcher area will be around 10,000 barrels per day. A peak rate of around 60,000 bpd is expected during the first half of 2018.
Tony Durrant, the company's chief executive, said first oil was achieved on time and, at $1.6 billion, almost 30 percent under budget.
"Catcher is an example of Premier Oil's capability to deliver full cycle FPSO projects from exploration through to production," he said in a statement.
The complex, comprised of the Catcher, Burgman and Varadero fields, was discovered in 2010 by Premiere and the company at the time put the gross reserve estimate between 25 million and 50 million barrels of oil. In its announcement Wednesday, the company said Catcher holds about 96 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Production for Premiere during the third quarter averaged around 76,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and the company will take another net 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Catcher. Cairn Energy is a partner at the Catcher field.
A North Sea review from consultant group Wood Mackenzie, published early this year, found more than a dozen new oil and natural gas fields were expected to enter into production in 2017. While new developments looking forward are scarce, about 30 percent of the production by 2020 will come from fields like Catcher that aren't yet fully operational.
Premiere said 12 producing wells are expected during the initial phase of operations at Catcher and as many as 19 are expected during peak production.