Premier Construction Scotland

Developing Golden Eagle

Golden Eagle Oil Rig
Written by Roma Publications

Golden Eagle Oil Rig

Situated 70 miles north-east of Aberdeen, the Golden Eagle development is a £2 billion project currently under construction in the North Sea.

Viewed as one of the most significant offshore projects currently in development, the site will be operated by Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, with Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd, Suncor Energy UK Ltd and Edinburgh Oil and Gas Ltd also holding interests in the project.

The Golden Eagle development was given the go ahead in 2011 and is expected to see its first oil production take place in late 2014. The project was approved by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Golden Eagle sits within Blocks 21/1N and 20/1S of the UK sector of the North Sea. The site’s well was uncovered in 2007, where it was drilled to a depth of approximately 7,500 feet (2,287 meters).

Nexus will drill 20 development wells to access the resources, with 16 platform based wells and four subsea wells. Once fully operational, the Golden Eagle development is expected to produce the equivalent of 140 million barrels of oil by the year 2032 and this figure is based on an initial production rate of around 70,000 barrels a day.

The new development will be linked to the Solitaire Field project, which is located approximately four kilometres north east of Golden Eagle, and will also recover the underground fuel resources. Solitaire is expected to produce eight million barrels of oil, beginning in 2015, and this oil will be processed at Golden Eagle.

Solitaire is located in block 14/26a. Oil and gas from Solitaire will be processed at Golden Eagle’s platform complex with oil exported to either the Forties pipeline system via a tie-in at the Buzzard field or to Flotta terminal via a tie-in at the Claymore field. Meanwhile, gas will be exported to the SAGE export line via the Ettrick pipeline end manifold.

Whilst production is expected to begin on Golden Eagle later this year, the development is expected to reach its peak between 2016 and 2018. In total, the new development has a predicted lifespan of 25 years.

During the construction period, two-thirds of the project’s £ 2 billion investment is being spent on contracts within the UK. The Wood Group’s Production Services Network currently has a two-year contract to work on the project, whilst Lamprell recently announced the completion and delivery of a production, utilities and quarters (PUQ) deck for the site.

The Wood Group’s Production Services Network is carrying out hook-up and commissioning services on the development. The two-year contract, which was announced in early 2013, would see the company take responsibility for the management, services, materials, equipment and labour during the initial start-up and connection aspects of the project. Approximately 100 new jobs are being created as part of this work.

Managing Director of Wood Group’s Production Services Network, Dave Stewart, said:

“This is a key project for Wood Group Production Services Network and we were very proud to have been selected by Nexen to provide support to one of the most significant offshore developments in the UK Continental Shelf.

“We have deployed a high performing management team, familiar with Nexen’s assets and processes, who have a track record of developing a positive project work culture that delivers results safely and on time.”

The Golden Eagle project continues an established working association with Nexen, after the company previously delivered hook-up and commissioning services for the Buzzard platform enhancement project in the UK North Sea. The Wood Group has also been involved in the delivery of documentation and training systems for the GEAD project.

As part of its investment in the project, field operator Nexen has developed a two-platform installation for the Golden Eagle site. The two-platform PUQ installation comprises a wellhead and separate production area, along with a utility and living quarter, which are connected via a 70 metre bridge.

The first platform was delivered in June 2012, whilst the second was delivered in April 2014. Both topsides were built at Lamprell’s Jebel Ali facility in Dubai.

Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd 

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd is a responsible company, developing energy resources across some of the most significant areas of the world. Sites include the UK North Sea, the United States, Western Canada and offshore West Africa.

Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd employs approximately 3,200 members of staff and each adhere to the company’s principles of personally accountability, environmental responsibility and integrity. Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd manages a diverse suite of assets and is overseen by the company’s executive leadership team.

A spokesperson for Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, said:

“The world needs clean, secure and affordable energy. We meet this need by harnessing our exceptional talent, world class assets and progressive technology to find and develop oil and gas resources around the world. It’s Nexen’s way of building a profitable and responsible business. We create value by responsibly supplying the energy that fuels people’s lives.

“The foundation of our growth strategy is the energy and expertise of our employees, who are committed to working with integrity and engaging our stakeholders. We’re proud of our strong track record of safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy development.”

For more information about Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, please visit:

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