The Humber Gathering System (HGS) is a new platform and pipeline that will transport gas from the Tolmount Main and East gas fields in the Southern North Sea to the Easington terminal in East Yorkshire.
This unique and innovative partnership formed by Kellas Midstream, Premier Oil (now Harbour Energy) and Dana Petroleum has been instrumental in unlocking investment and enabling development of the Tolmount Main field.
The Tolmount Main field is located in the Greater Tolmount Area. Discovered in 2011, it is one of the largest undeveloped gas fields in the Southern North Sea and is expected to produce around 500 billion cubic feet of gas. Tolmount East well was drilled in 2019 and is expected to produce around 150 billion cubic feet of gas. Peak production from both fields will be up to 300 million standard cubic feet per day.
The Tolmount fields will produce via the HGS platform and a tariff will be paid to the infrastructure owners for gas transportation, adjusted based on the volumes delivered.
The HGS/Tolmount project was sanctioned by the joint venture and infrastructure partners in August 2018 and the partnership went on to win a Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) UK Award at the 2018 Oil & Gas UK awards in recognition of its contribution to maximising economic recovery in the UKCS.
The Tolmount platform was successfully installed in October 2020 and first gas is planned by end of 2021.
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Tolmount Main field discovered in 2011
Expected to produce around 500 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day
Tolmount East field explored/appraised in 2019
Expected to produce around 150 billion standard cubic feet of gas
Peak production up to 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day
Total development cost £530 million; 50% UK spend
The HGS infrastructure will comprise a new minimal facilities platform with six-slot well template and helideck access, and a new 48 kilometre, 20 inch diameter gas export pipeline.
The HGS pipeline has capacity to accommodate 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and will connect to the existing Rough processing facilities at Centrica Storage Limited’s Easington terminal in East Yorkshire, where modifications are being undertaken to enable it to receive and process gas from the HGS infrastructure.
New reception facilities are being built for HGS (a pig catcher and emergency shutdown valve arrangement), which will then tie into the Rough slug catchers.
The HGS topsides and jacket contract was awarded to Rosetti Marino in Italy, and the HGS pipeline contract was awarded to Saipem.
Investment in additional risers and J-tubes enables lower field development and tie-in costs for future projects, giving HGS the potential to become a material future infrastructure hub and enable production to continue in this region of the North Sea for the next 20 years and beyond.
Minimal facilities platform with six-slot well template
48 kilometre, 20 inch diameter gas export pipeline
Pipeline capacity 300 million standard cubic feet of gas per day
Connection to Easington terminal, East Yorkshire
We believe that maximising economic recovery (MER) will be best served by upstream and midstream operators working closely together to stimulate future investment, an approach that is aligned with the Oil & Gas Authority’s view that MER will be driven by right assets being in the right hands.
HGS will support our existing customers (Harbour Energy and Dana Petroleum) to develop the Tolmount Main field and enable further development of the Greater Tolmount Area. We are also keen to attract new customers who have potential developments in the surrounding area.
As such, every aspect of HGS has been planned to accommodate third party access, from the commercial structure and principles we have put in place to the infrastructure itself. The HGS platform and pipeline has been designed with overcapacity in mind and we have invested in additional risers and J-tubes, to enable lower field development and tie-in costs for future new customers.
Our forward thinking approach to HGS gives it the potential to become a future infrastructure hub that will enable production in this region of the North Sea to continue for decades to come.
Harbour Energy has a 50% interest in the Greater Tolmount Area along with Dana Petroleum, who hold the other 50% interest.
Harbour is the license operator and is responsible for the Tolmount Field Development Plan, licence and wells obligations, and is also the joint development operator coordinating the overall development and project management of both the HGS infrastructure and the Tolmount field.
Kellas Midstream and Dana will jointly fund, construct and own the HGS infrastructure in equal shares with Kellas assuming operatorship and having contractual responsibility to build, install, commission and operate the infrastructure. Kellas and Dana will also jointly fund some of the onshore modifications that are required at the Easington terminal.
Kellas has appointed ODE Asset Management Limited as Operating Partner for the HGS infrastructure. ODE will provide the resources to manage day-to-day operation of the HGS platform and pipeline.
The total development cost for the project is £530 million, with Kellas funding £175 million, Dana funding £265 million and Harbour funding £90 million. 50% of the project development cost is being invested in the UK with the platform, pipeline and terminal FEED engineering, and modifications to the Easington terminal being engineered and constructed by UK companies.
Operator: Humber Gathering System Limited (wholly owned by Kellas Midstream)
Owners (equity): Kellas Midstream (50%), Dana Petroleum (50%)
Operating Partner: ODE Asset Management
Upstream Join Venture: Harbour Energy (50%), Dana Petroleum (50%)
Licence Operator & Joint Development Operator: Harbour Energy
Premier (now Harbour) acquired its interest in the Greater Tolmount Area, which includes the Tolmount Main gas field, via its $120m acquisition of E.ON’s UK assets in 2016.
Premier’s objective was to maximise economic recovery via an area development solution balanced with a desire to reduce its upfront capital exposure. Premier looked at several ways of doing this, including farm out, vendor funding and infrastructure funding.
Ultimately, Premier selected a midstream joint venture which would build and own the infrastructure – the first time a greenfield UK pipeline and platform infrastructure has been funded by an infrastructure fund, but an extension of the financing models Premier deploys with its FPSO developments.
Premier, Kellas and Dana collaborated to develop an appropriate commercial framework as well as an appropriate risk-reward profile to ensure upstream and midstream investors were aligned.
In Q1 2021 Premier Oil merged with Chrysoar to become Harbour Energy.
This type of infrastructure partnership approach is unique and differs from the traditional upstream model where the operator funds both the field development and the infrastructure.
By putting in place innovative commercial agreements that enabled open discussion and encouraged information sharing, the HGS infrastructure ownership and operatorship was separated from the Tolmount Main field, significantly reducing Premier’s upfront capital exposure, allowing the project to be sanctioned as well as supporting the UK’s Maximising Economic Recovery (MER) policy as championed by the Oil & Gas Authority.