UK & Norway

Key interests:   Catcher   Kraken   Nova

UK and Norway is a key focus for Cairn and the company has an extensive portfolio across a variety of plays in the region. We have built a strong position with exploration, appraisal and development assets.


In 2017, Cairn continued to build an extensive exploration portfolio primarily focused on light oil. An exploration drilling campaign is currently underway with plans to drill up to ten wells targeting more than 1.5 billion boe gross unrisked resources across a variety of play types


The three developments of Catcher, Kraken and Nova are a key part of our strategy to build steady future cash flows to sustain the business model and fund future exploration and appraisal. Plateau production is expected to be achieved by mid year 2018 on both Kraken and Catcher, with peak net production to Cairn of 25,000 bopd.


Kraken (Cairn 20% working interest) is a large heavy oil accumulation, located in the East Shetland basin, ~125km east of the Shetland Islands. Following first oil from Kraken in H1 2017, operational efficiency has improved and production increased throughout H2 as both production and injection wells performed in line with expectations. Average gross production is now consistently between 40-50,000 bopd when all 11 producers and 10 injectors are on line.


Catcher (Cairn 29.5% working interest) in the UK Central North Sea ~180km off the North East coast of Scotland and comprises three separate fields, Catcher, Burgman and Varadero. The fields will be produced from up to 20 subsea wells with a combination of production and water injection wells tied back via subsea infrastructure to the newly built BW Catcher FPSO. The vessel receives, processes and stores crude oil from the Catcher area and exports associated gas. The operator remains encouraged about the overall recovery from the Catcher Area and continues to forecast peak plateau production of ~60,000 bopd (gross), 20% higher than the production level envisaged which the project was sanctioned.

Nova (formerly Skarfjell)

The planned Nova development (Cairn 20% WI) sits ~16km south west of the Gjøa field in Norway. The JV has completed Front End Engineering and Design for the Nova development. Based on the proposed plan, hydrocarbons from the Nova reservoir will be developed with two subsea templates tied back to the Gjøa platform for processing and export. Gjøa will also provide lift gas to the field and water injection for pressure support. One template will be used for water injection, while the other will be used to produce hydrocarbons.

In Q1 2018, the Operator awarded the contracts for the subsea production system and umbilicals, risers and flowlines, which allows the JV to progress towards the execution phase of the project with the Plan for Development and Operation anticipated for submission to the Government in Q2 2018. First oil is targeted in 2021 and expected to deliver gross plateau production of 50,000 bopd, ~10,000 bopd net to Cairn.

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