Endeavour revives UK output rates

External factors: William Transier says Endeavour held back by outside issues

Houston’s Endeavour International bounced back from its production woes at the Rochelle gas condensate field in the UK North Sea in the second quarter, but lower liftings nonetheless led to deepened losses.

The New York-listed explorer beat guidance to produce an average of 12,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the second quarter against revised target of 10,500 boepd to 11,500 boepd, and up from 9500 boepd in the year-ago period.

Because there was no lifting of production from the Chevron-operated Alba field until 4 July, sales production was only 7400 boepd and revenue of around $50 million slipped to the third quarter.

Endeavour International recorded a second quarter net loss of $36.7 million compared to a loss of $13.9 million in the same quarter in 2013.

Output rebounded as the Nexen Petroleum-operated Rochelle field in the central UK North Sea became fully operational with both wells in production as of mid-May.

The company also settled an insurance claim for $12.6 million over its Rochelle E1Y well that suffered weather damage in 2013 and delayed the field’s startup by several months.

Chief executive William Transier said that Rochelle had produced more than 100 million cubic feet of equivalent per day for 32 days during the quarter but said the field continued to be constrained by external problems.

“We continue to be challenged by unexpected downtime and lower production efficiency rates which are directly attributable to the production facilities we do not control,” he said.

The Nexen Petroleum-operated Scott platform that handles Rochelle’s gas output shut down for three weeks of planned maintenance last week. The closure is timed to coincide with works on the Forties pipeline system that will also leave Endeavour’s Bacchus field shut in.

In recent months gas compression constraints on the Scott platform that also handles output from the Telford and Scott fields further held back Rochelle’s production rates.

Earlier mechanical difficulties with one of the wells at Rochelle as well as a hydrocarbon release at the Scott platform also curtailed production at various times this year.

Because of scheduled maintenance, the explorer expects average daily physical production to fall back to between 9500 boepd and 10,500 boepd for the third quarter.

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