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    Shell gets go-ahead for Jackdaw in UK North Sea


The development plan was amended in March to incorporate new venting and treatment processes.

by: Callum Cyrus

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Shell gets go-ahead for Jackdaw in UK North Sea

Shell has secured regulatory authorisation to develop its Jackdaw gas field in the UK North Sea, after its first attempt was blocked due to environmental concerns, the Offshore Petroleum Regulator for Environment and Decommissioning said May 27.

Jackdaw's development plan was amended in March to incorporate new gas venting and treatment processes, and OPRED now says the project will avert "significant" environmental impacts.

The initial rejection had cited the impact of atmospheric emissions, along with disruptions to commercial vessel traffic, marine life, water quality and the risk of oil discharge.

Jackdaw is a high-temperature, high-pressure gas and condensate project in the central UK North Sea. The project involves four production wells connected via subsea pipeline to Shearwater's fixed installation, some 30 km northwest.

Scheduled to launch in 2024, Jackdaw will produce 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day at peak, according to Shell's 2015 to 2019 investor's handbook. It is thought to contain an estimated 75.3mn barrels of oil equivalent in recoverable reserves, including 273.7bn ft3 of gas, 13mn barrels of crude and condensate and 16.7mn barrels of natural gas liquids.

At a time when energy security "is critically required", Shell has said Jackdaw could meet as much as 6.5% of the UK's national gas requirement. The UK's latest energy strategy paper published in April underscored that gas is pivotal to the stability of its energy mix, and projects like Jackdaw could help offset production declines at its ageing North Sea assets. UK North Sea oil and gas output could range from 600,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day to 1.6mn boe/d by 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie, and the range for UK demand is even greater.