The Baltic Gas Project involves the development of the B4 and B6 gas fields located in Poland’s exclusive economic zone in the Southern Baltic Sea. The fields are being developed by Baltic Gas Sp. z o.o. i Wspólnicy Spólka Komandytowa (Baltic Gas).
Baltic Gas is a special purpose vehicle formed by a joint venture comprising LOTOS Petrobaltic (51%) and CalEnergy Resources (49%). The joint venture was formed on 30 October 2012 in Gdansk and was approved on 9 April 2013. The offshore project received environmental approval on 16 May 2014 from the regional director for environmental protection.
The project is currently in the pre-final investment decision (FID) study phase with FID approval expected in the second half of 2016. First production from the development is planned for 2017 at a rate of 250 million cubic metres (mcm) a year.
B4 and B6 fields location
Located in the Baltic Sea, the B4 and B6 natural gas fields lie in the eastern part of the Polish exclusive economic zone. The B4 reservoir is situated at a depth of 1,100m below the sea level and is approximately 90km from the coastline. The B6 reservoir lies 1,450m below the sea level and is roughly 75km from the coastline.
Discovery and reserves
The two reservoirs were discovered in 1981-1982 during the exploration operations conducted by the International ‘Petrobaltic’ Joint Organisation for Oil Exploration. The B4 reservoir was discovered by drilling three boreholes, while the B6 reservoir was identified by drilling two boreholes.
The combined recoverable reserves of the fields are estimated to be 4bcm (149bcf). The recoverable reserves of B4 are estimated to be 1,972.4mcm and that of B6 are estimated to be 1,792.85mcm.
Baltic Gas project development details
The project includes reservoir drilling and borehole production of natural gas, construction of gas pipeline, and transporting the extracted gas first into the production system on the production rig and then to the hydrocarbon conversion system at the Wladyslawowo combined heat and power plant owned by Energobaltic.
The project will be developed in two phases with phase one consisting of the B6 field development. It will include the drilling of up to four production boreholes and setting the foundations for an unmanned production rig. A subsea gas pipeline will also be constructed to connect to the Wladyslawowo plant.
Phase two of the development will feature the B4 field involving the drilling of up to four production boreholes and installing an unmanned rig. An undersea gas pipeline will also be constructed to connect to the main production rig located on the B6 field where the extracted gas will be blended. The second phase is expected to start between 2022 and 2027.
A total of four boreholes are planned to be drilled in each of the two fields that will include both vertical and horizontal boreholes. The maximum length of the vertical and horizontal sections is expected to be 3,000m for the B4 field and 3,100m for B6 field. The drilling will be performed by the Lotos Petrobaltic jack-up rig owned by Lotos Petrobaltic.
An 85km-long DN250 subsea pipeline will be laid between the B6 field and the onshore plant, during the first phase of the development. A 33km-long DN150 pipeline will be laid in the second phase, to connect the B4 and B6 fields.
The pipelines will be installed in excavation made at the sea bottom and will be covered with sediments. The thickness of the protective layer will vary from 1m in the high seas to 3m while approaching land.
Contractors involved with the Baltic Gas project
A contract was awarded to Jacobs Engineering Group in February 2016 to conduct a pre-FID study for an onshore gas treatment plant for the project. The scope of work also includes preparing a cost estimate based on vendor quotations for the project to aid in the FID.
Subsea Engineering Associates was contracted in January 2016 for detailed design, procurement and construction management. The scope of work includes subsea pipelines, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) shore crossing, pre-lay and post-lay trenching, risers and platform tie-ins, as well as system engineering including reservoir to gas plant flow assurance.
Part of the Petrofac group, SPD entered a master services agreement in November 2014 to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) for the project.