Kraken is one of the biggest subsea heavy-oil field projects in the UK sector of the North Sea. The field lies at a water depth of 120m in blocks 9/2b and 9/2c within the P1575 licence in the East Shetland basin, which is located 125km away from Noss.
EnQuest Heather is the operator and owns a 60% interest in the asset. The remaining stake is co-owned by Cairn Energy (25%) and First Oil (15%).
EnQuest received a £4bn investment approval for the development of the Kraken field from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in November 2013, with final commissioning and the field came on stream in June 2017.
The floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel was developed by converting a Suezmax ice-class tanker at the shipyard in Singapore in the second quarter of 2015. It has a total storage capacity of 600,000 barrels and was moored by a buoy-turret mooring system. The vessel is connected with 16 risers, which have a fluid transfer system at 390 bars of pressure.
Export tankers ship the crude oil from the vessel by using a tandem offloading process. The FPSO vessel was arrived at the field in February 2017 and started producing oil in June 2017.
Designed to handle flow rates of up to 460,000bpd, it accommodates up to 80,000bpd of oil and 20MMscf of gas, in addition to 275,000bpd of water to be used for the injection.
The total installed power of 62MW is divided into four 15.5MW configurations, while the power plant features a triple fuel system involving the direct burning of heavy crude oil. The oil is produced using hydraulic subsea pumps (HSPs), which require reduced maintenance.
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