(News Bulletin 247) – Shell announced yesterday that its British subsidiary, Shell UK, has restarted operations on the Pierce field in the North Sea, after a major upgrade of the site aimed at allowing gas production after years when the field produced only oil.

Substantial modifications have thus been made to the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel Haewene Brim.

The FPSO thus spent six months in dry dock where it was transformed into a ship that could also produce gas.

In addition, a new subsea gas export line has been installed, linked to SÉGAL, the network of gas pipelines that brings gas to shore, at St Fergus, north of Aberdeen.

According to Shell, peak production is expected to reach 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, more than double production before the redevelopment, with more gas produced than oil. The gas will be transported through the newly installed undersea pipelines while the oil will be transported by tanker, as before.

Shell specifies that Pierce is a joint venture between Shell (operator, 92.52%) and Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited (7.48%).

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