Another tidbit of news on Iran’s emerging oil and gas bid round this week. With that country’s oil ministry saying yesterday that 29 E&Ps from 12 countries have been pre-qualified to bid, including Shell, Total, Eni, Petronas, Gazprom and Lukoil.
One surprise in that list was the omission of BP. With that company reportedly deciding to pull out of the bidding over concerns about Iran sanctions.
And in BP’s backyard, the North Sea, there was another big petro-development this week. With one of the region’s largest natural gas fields facing a sudden closure.
That’s the Tyra field, located in the sliver of the North Sea owned by Denmark. Which represents the largest source of natural gas for the Danish market — in fact, almost the entirety of national supply.
Tyra’s owner and operator Maersk Oil said over the weekend that aging infrastructure at Tyra is becoming a critical issue. With management having been unable to come up with an economically-viable solution for modernizing the development.
Maersk is therefore planning to shutter this mega-field. With the company saying it has begun to notify relevant authorities of the decision to move toward decommissioning — and that, starting next month, it will begin channeling financial resources toward the shutdown. Related: 2017 – The Year Of The Drone
This is a huge development for the Danish energy sector, given that Tyra provides a full 90% of national natgas production. And it could have some important implications for the European energy picture beyond Danish borders.
With Denmark being a relatively small gas consumer, the nation also sends pipeline exports to neighbors including Sweden and northern Germany. Sweden particularly has few other suppliers, while Germany’s other import points are mainly in the south and west of the country.
That could mean a reorganization of gas flows — and potentially some local shortages — as Tyra winds down. Maersk said it plans to have the field fully shut by October of next year — watch for subtle but important shifts in European gas flows over the coming 22 months.
Here’s to retiring a giant.
By Dave Forest
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