(Sharecast News) - Serica Energy announced on Wednesday that the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has approved the field development plan for the North Sea Columbus Development, which was submitted for approval in June. The AIM-traded company said production was expected to be 7,800 gross barrels of oil equivalent per day, with best estimate gross contingent resources calculated to be 13.4 million boe. It said the Columbus Development was located in Blocks 23/16f and 23/21a of the Columbus Sub Area in the UKCS Central North Sea. The development area would be drained by a single well, which would be connected to the recently approved Arran-Shearwater pipeline, through which Columbus production would be exported along with Arran field production. When the production reached the Shearwater platform facilities, it would be separated into gas and liquids and exported to terminals onshore. Columbus development timing was dependent on the Arran-Shearwater pipeline being tied into the Shearwater platform in the third quarter of 2020, with Columbus startup targeted for mid-2021. OGA approval of the field development plan was subject to a number of statutory requirements, including the submission of an environmental statement, which was approved by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at the beginning of October. Serica is operator of the Columbus Development with a 50% interest, with other participants including EOG Resources United Kingdom and Endeavour Energy UK, each holding a 25% interest. "I am delighted that Serica and its partners are able to announce that development and production consent has been received for Columbus," said chief executive officer Mitch Flegg. "The project team have worked closely with the OGA and the host infrastructure owners since the field development plan was submitted in June to achieve this successful outcome. "The development is important in its own right and will also enhance our understanding of nearby exploration acreage which was secured by Serica in the UK 30th Licence Round."
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