HURRICANE Energy has passed a key milestone on the road to bringing the giant Lancaster field into production West of Shetland after it started installing facilities on the seabed, writes Mark Williamson.

Surrey-based Hurricane said the offshore installation phase of the development had started with Xmas Trees being placed on wells drilled during the exploration and appraisal process. The trees will regulate the flow of oil and gas between the wells and pipelines that will carry it to a floating production facility.

Welcoming the start of installation work, Hurricane chief executive Robert Trice said: “All workstreams are proceeding well; we remain on budget and on schedule for first oil in H1 2019.”

Separately, Aberdeen-based independent Eland Oil & Gas said it had achieved encouraging results in recent drilling on the Opuama field in Nigeria.

The company said it expected the Opuama-9 well to perform at the high end of previous production guidance of 4,000 to 6,000 barrels oil per day.

Chief executive George Maxwell said information gathered through drilling led Eland to believe its short-term target of over 30,000 barrels of oil daily production is very achievable. The company produced 18,500 bopd from Opuama in December, with partners in the licence.