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Culzean is a HP/HT (High Pressure / High Temperature) gas condensate field located in the North Sea, 230 kilometers off the coast of Aberdeen. It was discovered in 2008 in an area that had been left unexplored for a long time. The field is made up of two deep reservoirs, with reserves estimated at between 250 million and 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, making it the largest gas project developed in the United Kingdom in the last 25 years. Sitting beneath traditional reservoirs that play in the North Sea and beneath the Merganser chalk diapir as well, the area had long remained in obscurity.

map_culzean_exploration_production_total

Culzean is a gas condensate field located in Block 22/25a in the East Central Graben area of the central North Sea. It is made up of two deep reservoirs 4,300 meters below sea level, with reserves estimated at between 250 million and 300 million barrels of oil equivalent. Production started in June 2019 and is expected to meet 5% of the United Kingdom’s gas demand, bringing to 18% the proportion of the country’s gas demand supplied by Total.

The depth and size of the reservoirs require a unique approach to production. For this reason, the Culzean project will have three platforms, linked together with bridges. The first platform will be used for drilling and hydrocarbon production, the second for processing and export of produced gas and condensate, and the last for the crew’s living quarters.

The project will also include a floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel measuring 52 meters at its highest point and 243 meters in length – the equivalent of three Airbus A380s, the biggest airplane in the world. The Ailsa FSO can store up to 430,000 barrels of oil equivalent of condensate.

Since taking operatorship of the Culzean project following the acquisition of Maersk Oil in 2018, we have worked alongside our partners to perfect our technologies and operating methods at each stage of development. For example, we have implemented more efficient drilling techniques, allowing us to reach depths of up to 5,000 meters. We have also optimized the supply chain. These efforts helped reduce costs by $500 million, or about 10% of the initial estimated budget.

The Culzean story - Finding two deep gas reservoirs under a salt diapir in the central North Sea - Exploration & Production - Total
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Culzean reservoir depth below sea level
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million
cost reductions (in US$) reached on the project
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temperature inside of Culzean reservoir
  • Operator on the Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    Operator on the Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom
  • Ailsa FSO deployed on the Culzean field, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    Ailsa FSO deployed on the Culzean field, North Sea, United Kingdom
  • Operator on the Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    Operator on the Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom
  • View from the helideck, Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    View from the helideck, Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom
  • Operators on the Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    Operators on the Culzean project platform, North Sea, United Kingdom
  • Aisla FSO deployed on the Culzean project, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    Aisla FSO deployed on the Culzean project, North Sea, United Kingdom
  • Platform of the Culzean project, North Sea, United Kingdom - Exploration & Production - Total
    Platform of the Culzean project, North Sea, United Kingdom
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