February 13, 2020 / 11:48 AM / 10 days ago

Repsol's partner sees likely delay to Norway's Yme field startup

OSLO, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Production at Repsol’s Yme oilfield, the group’s largest project off Norway, is likely to begin in the third quarter rather than the second as previously planned, one of its partners in the field said on Thursday.

Repsol, which holds a 55% stake in the project, was not immediately available for comment.

“We definitely expect startup in the third quarter,” Erik Haugane, chief executive of Norwegian oil firm Okea, which has a 15% stake in Yme, told analysts during its quarterly presentation.

That showed Okea guiding for production startup in “summer 2020”. Yme was most likely to start production in late August, but the field’s operator Repsol still has to update Okea on its plans, a source at the smaller firm told Reuters.

Repsol says on its website it expects first oil from Yme in the first half of 2020.

Norwegian authorities approved a new 8 billion crown ($864.40 million) redevelopment plan for the Yme field in 2018 after an earlier attempt by Canada’s Talisman Energy, which was acquired by Repsol in 2015, failed.

The later plan targeted about 65 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in remaining recoverable reserves.

Yme is expected to produce around 38,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) once production is ramped up to its peak, Okea said. That would mean it would contribute more than 20,000 boed to Repsol.

Other partners are Poland’s Lotos and Kuwait’s KUFPEC, which hold 20% and 10% stakes respectively.

Seacrest Capital-backed Okea, which acquired stakes in the Draugen and Gjoea fields off Norway from Shell in 2018 for around $556 million, said it was looking for more acquisitions.

“To grow the company organically is not sufficient. We want to make Okea significantly bigger than we are today, and we are actively pursuing M&A opportunities on the Norwegian continental shelf,” Haugane told the presentation.

The company was interested in buying more late-life assets, such as the Draugen field, which has been producing since 1993, but still had significant reserves left, he added.

Okea said on Thursday it expected its 2020 production to be in a range of 15,500 to 16,500 boed, down from 18,700 boed in 2019, subject to Yme’s start-up date.

Its Oslo-listed shares were down 1.4% by 1008 GMT, broadly in line with a fall in the North Sea oil price.

$1 = 9.2550 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Jan Harvey

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