Chrysaor - current trading
Chrysaor has shown resilience in the challenging business environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the commodity price collapse. A robust balance sheet, strong hedge book, flexible portfolio and operational excellence of the business and people has allowed Chrysaor to maintain production and deliver strong financial results in 2020 year to date.
Chrysaor produced an average of 187 kboepd in the first half of 2020 but also paused most of its new drilling activity. After down-manning in March 2020 to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, through the summer Chrysaor began to increase the number of personnel offshore and in September 2020 safely resumed its operated drilling with the J Block S16 and Callanish F5 wells.
As with any material portfolio, during 2020 some of Chrysaor’s fields have produced above expectations and some have not.
In the AELE area, whilst production levels and efficiencies have generally been maintained, the Hawkins and Seymour Horst wells were not brought on to stable production due to facilities issues. These wells will now come onstream in October 2020, however Chrysaor expects them to deliver below pre-drill expectations. Depending on observed performance a variety of remedial actions are under consideration.
Exploration activity in the Beryl area Tertiary play has been positive so far with 2 successful wells on Solar and Corona and the currently drilling Gamma well results are highly encouraging. Each discovery improves economics further with several development scenarios under consideration including a possible combined development with the adjacent Norwegian discoveries.
The Greater Britannia Area has seen excellent facilities uptime and better than expected well performance from the Brodgar satellite field.
On the Buzzard field, Phase 1 infill drilling has delivered on or above target, but Buzzard Phase 2 drilling results have been towards the lower end of expectations. Two wells from the North Terrace programme were suspended without completion due to lower than expected reservoir quality. Drilling has now been paused and further wells and side-track activity will wait until after the Phase 2 wells have been brought onto production.
On Clair, strong Phase 1 Production efficiency in 2020 offset delayed drilling and poorer performance on Clair Ridge. On the Ridge development, to date nine wells have been drilled of the 36 well programme. These early wells are producing lower than initial pre-drill expectations and some have seen water breakthrough, albeit expected given the nature of the reservoir. Chrysaor expects lower near-term production than at project sanction but recent updated reservoir models suggest ultimate recovery will be maintained albeit with potentially the need for further wells. The Clair South FID has been delayed by at least a year due to COVID-19 and the current commodity price. This will enable the partnership to investigate several potential development scheme alternatives including using power from shore and tie back options instead of the previously proposed standalone facilities.
Elgin/Franklin’s drilling continues and the fields have produced above expectations in 2020. The operator is currently planning facilities and integrity work towards a potential extension of field life.
On the Chrysaor operated J Area, the impact of water breakthrough in the Palaeocene wells has been ameliorated by an active drilling and workover programme which will continue in 2021. The partnership currently intends to increase drilling activity in the area stepping up to two active drilling units in late 2021. A Talbot appraisal well is planned for next year together with near field exploration wells planned for Jade South and Dunnottar.
The award of 14 licences in the UK 32nd round adds significant additional contingent and prospective resources in proximity to Chrysaor’s existing infrastructure. Whilst these will not immediately add reserves to the portfolio they will be further evaluated and matured, possibly contributing in the future.