The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has approved Valiant Petroleum’s field development plan for the Fionn field in the UK North Sea.

Field partner Antrim stated that the plan for Fionn, in the UK North Sea Block 211/22a South East Area, would utilise a previously drilled and suspended well as a production well.

The 211/22a-6 well was drilled in 2007 and tested oil from the Ness and Etive formations at a combined flow rate of about 5500 barrels of oil per day.

The well is planned to be completed with dual electrical submersible pumps.

Antrim anticipated first oil in mid-2013. Initial production has been estimated at 4500 bpd.

The development plan called for Fionn production to be combined with the adjacent Causeway field’s production and transported for processing to the Cormorant North platform.

Gathering lines for Fionn were already installed at the same time as Causeway as a pre-investment.

Valiant has a 64.5% working interest in the Fionn licence through wholly-owned subsidiaries, while Antrim holds a 33.5% stake.

Valiant is cujrrently financing Antrim’s share of the Fionn field pre-investment costs until three months following first oil production from the Causeway field.

At that time, Antrim can opt out of participating in the Fionn field development, or confirm its involvement by paying its 35.5% share of the pre-investment costs plus interest.

Antrim’s share of the development costs for the Fionn field is expected to be about $22 million.

The company stated that the Fionn field contained an estimated 6.3 million barrels of proved plus probable oil reserves (2.2 million barrels net to Antrim).

The Fionn field is immediately adjacent to the Causeway field in Block 211/23d, where Antrim also holds a 35.5% interest.

First oil production from the Causeway field remains on track for September, with an anticipated 3,000 bopd net to Antrim.