Gas flowing from Corrib Field falls 15%

Corrib Gas Partners invested more than €3.6bn in the project before gas started to flow

Corrib gas field: Vermilion says quarterly production down year over year due mainly to natural decline. File photograph: Shell E&P Ireland Limited

Corrib gas field: Vermilion says quarterly production down year over year due mainly to natural decline. File photograph: Shell E&P Ireland Limited

 

Production at the Corrib Field fell by 15 per cent year on year in the first quarter of this year, according to the new operator of the site off the Mayo coast.

Canadian firm Vermilion said revenues for the Corrib Gas Partners in the first quarter of this year totalled 198.9 million Canadian dollars (€132 million).

Arising from its 20 per cent share in the field, Vermilion recorded sales of C$39.7 million in the first quarter of this year.

The company’s earnings report said “quarterly production decreased 15 per cent year over year due primarily to natural decline”. Production between January and end-March was 1 per cent down on the previous quarter.

Sales fell 26 per cent year on year due to the drop in production and a weaker price of gas, which was 14 per cent down year on year.

Vermilion said it had completed “some minor projects and activities to increase uptime and optimise plant compression to increase gas throughput” in the first three months of the year.

It said it would continue to evaluate “further optimisation opportunities as we progress through our first year as operator of the Corrib Project”.

In December, Vermilion also increased its share in the gas field by 1.5 per cent to 20 per cent.

Strategic partnership

The former operator of the field, Shell Ireland, disposed of its shareholding in the project to the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in a strategic partnership with Vermilion. The other partner in the project is Statoil which has a 36.5 per cent share.

The Vermilion quarterly report states that “given the significant level of investment in Corrib, and the resulting tax pools, we do not expect to incur any current income taxes in the Irish business unit for the foreseeable future”.

The Corrib Partners invested more than €3.6 billion in the project before gas started to flow – more than four times the original estimate of €800 million. Gas was originally expected to flow from the field in 2003 but the project ended up 12 years behind the original schedule.

Revenues at Vermilion globally last year increased by 53 per cent to C$1.67 billion.