OREANDA-NEWS. GDF SUEZ announces the start-up of production from its Orca gas field which straddles the UK and Dutch sectors of the North Sea and which is only the second such cross-border gas development between these two countries.

Initial gas has been produced from the first of the three wells to be drilled from the D18a-A production platform located in Dutch waters, 500 metres from the UK sector and in approximately 45 metres water depth. The second well is expected to come on-stream later this month. Drilling is underway on the third well from which production is expected in February 2014. At plateau in 2014, the platform will produce approximately 1.5 million m<sup>3</sup> of gas per day.

Jean-Marie Dauger, Executive Vice President of GDF SUEZ, in charge of Global Gas & LNG Business Line said: “It has taken less than two years from partner approval to first gas production from Orca. This is a significant achievement which illustrates the strong co-operation between our British and Dutch affiliates and the partners, and with the Dutch and UK authorities. With first gas from Juliet, also in the Southern North Sea, expected before the end of the year, GDF SUEZ E&P is demonstrating the potential of the North Sea as a mature region”.

Produced gas is being transported by pipeline to the existing D15a-A production platform on the Dutch Continental Shelf for further processing. It will then be transported through the Noordgastransport pipeline system to Uithuizen in the Netherlands. After final treatment, the gas will be delivered to Gas Transport Services B.V. which manages the national gas transport network in the Netherlands.

The Orca gas field lies in blocks 44/24a, 44/29b and 44/30a of the UK Southern North Sea (SNS) and extends into blocks D18a and D15b of the Dutch Continental Shelf. GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V. is the operator and duty holder and GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd is operator of the UK licences.