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Lloyds List: Starling eyes Shearwater nest

Tuesday January 03, 2006
ROYAL Dutch Shell is developing a second Shearwater satellite field in the North Sea this year after submitting an environmental statement for its Starling project, writes Martyn Wingrove .
The Anglo-Dutch oil firm is seeking approval from the Department of Trade and Industry to tie back the Starling gas condensate field to its own Shearwater platform.
Shell plans to install a 33 km, 20 in pipeline from the field to Shearwater this year and begin production in 2007.
Gas will be exported to the Bacton terminal via the Seal line and condensate will be sent to the Forties pipeline system via the Marnock platform.
Discovered in 1979, Starling is in block 29'3a and has reserves of 160bn cu ft of gas and 7m barrels of condensate.
This project follows swiftly on the heels of Shell's plans to develop the Merganser field as a subsea tie-back also to Shearwater.
In October, Shell submitted its environmental statement for Merganser, including plans to install two subsea wells this summer.
Shell will also upgrade the production capacity at Shearwater to provide more room for these two satellite field developments.
It has booked Transocean's JW McLean semi-submersible to drill the Merganser wells in July to September this year and is likely to use the same rig for the Starling wells.
Shell has booked the rig and Transocean's Sedco 711 for medium-term drilling work, although it did tender for three rigs.
– ATP Oil ' Gas is set to begin gas production from its Tors project in the southern North Sea this month. The Houston-based firm said the Ensco 70 jack-up rig was close to finishing the first well on the Garrow field. Once this is completed the well will be brought on line.
ATP is also expecting first production from the L06d development in the Dutch sector this month and is hoping to bring the Gomez field on stream in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico in February.

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