Bacton Gas Terminal

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Bacton Gas Terminal
The Gas Distribution Station near Bacton - - 600792.jpg
Bacton Gas Terminal, from the west in 2007
Bacton Gas Terminal is located in Norfolk
Bacton Gas Terminal
Location within Norfolk
General information
Type Gas terminal
Location Bacton, NR12 0JE
Coordinates 52°51′39″N 1°27′27″E / 52.8608°N 1.4575°E / 52.8608; 1.4575Coordinates: 52°51′39″N 1°27′27″E / 52.8608°N 1.4575°E / 52.8608; 1.4575
Current tenants Eni, National Grid, Shell UK, Perenco
Construction started 13 August 1968
Completed 1968
Cost £10 million (Shell 1968), £5 million (Phillips 1969)
Height 350ft (three masts)
Technical details
Floor area 200 acres (0.81 km2)

The Bacton Gas Terminal is a large gas terminal found on the North Sea coast in North Norfolk near Paston and between Bacton and Mundesley. The nearest main town is North Walsham. The other main UK gas terminals are at St Fergus, Aberdeenshire and the Easington, East Riding of Yorkshire.


The plant opened during 1968, initially built by Shell and the Gas Council. Planning permission had been given on 16 June 1967 by Anthony Greenwood, Baron Greenwood of Rossendale. The Leman field began on 13 August 1968 (joint Shell-Esso), and the Hewett field (Phillips Petroleum) began operations in July 1969. Construction of the £5 million Phillips plant began in April 1968. The Leman field (Shell-Esso) needed a 34-mile-long pipeline. A 36-inch diameter 140-mile-long pipe (Number 2 feeder main) costing £17 million was built by Italsider from Bacton to near Rugby. The Gas Council marketed the new North Sea gas as High Speed Gas.

On 13 August 1981, 11 gas workers lost their lives in the G-ASWI North Sea ditching, in a Wessex helicopter. At 6pm on 28 February 2008, there was an explosion and fire at the Shell UK terminal, for which Shell were fined £1 million.[1]


It consists of five gas terminals, taking gas from the Southern North Sea (SNS). From there, they connect to the National Transmission System or to Belgium via the Interconnector and to the Netherlands via the BBL Pipeline. The gas terminals are run by Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Perenco (which took over the BP operations in September 2003) and ENI (which took over the Tullow Oil operations in December 2008). Tullow had begun operations in 2003.

The five terminals are

  • Interconnector
  • Eni
  • Perenco
  • Shell
  • National Grid - The National Transmission System (NTS)

Initial gas processing takes place on the gas rigs, where the gas is received with a slugcatcher, dehydrated using triethylene glycol then compressed. Sour gas (sulphurous) had previously been removed by amine gas treating, but not presently. Gas enters the NTS at around 1000 psig. Condensate is removed and piped by the British Pipeline Agency to the North Walsham rail terminal.


The Shell terminal takes gas from the 474 kilometres (295 mi) long SEAL Pipeline, which connects to the Shearwater and Elgin-Franklin gas fields in the Central North Sea. The SEAL Pipeline is the longest on the UK Continental Shelf. It employs 46 people and began operations in 1968. It connects to the BBL Pipeline to the Netherlands which became operational in December 2006.

Hewett Bacton Terminal[edit]

This is owned by Eni of Italy, and connects to the Hewett Pipeline.[2] The terminal has two GE 11MW Frame 3 and one GE 3.7MW Frame 1 gas turbines, connected to three centrifugal compressors. In 2011 the Terminal was split by segregating the reception facilities from the processing plant and the processing plant decommissioned. The reception facilities were integrated in to the neighboring Perenco site. During late 2013/2014 the redundant processing facilities were demolished and majority of the site is unused.

Perenco terminal[edit]

This takes gas through seven pipelines from the Leman, Indefatigable, Trent & Tyne, Thames, Hewett & Lancelot Area Pipeline System (LAPS) and its Arthurian fields.

The ENI terminal was integrated in to the Perenco Terminal in 2011, thereby diverting the Hewett, LAPS and Thames pipeline gas and liquids via the Perenco Terminal. The remaining and now unused facilities on the ENI terminal are at this time (April 2014) being demolished.


Compressor station

The Interconnector works via four GE LM2500 gas turbines and a Thermodyn centrifugal compressor in its compressor station, which was built by Kværner John Brown (now called Aker Solutions).

The Eni-operated terminal takes two pipelines from the Hewett complex, one from the Thames complex and one from the Lancelot (LAPS) complex. Each set of pipelines are received and processed separately.

Shell gas fields[edit]

Indefatigable and Indefatigable SW[edit]

It is owned by Shell and BP. The J field started in September 1971, K started in March 1973, L started in October 1978 and the M platform started in October 1985. Production started in October 1971 and the field was discovered in June 1966. Indefatigable SW was discovered in June 1967 and production started in October 1989.[3] It is named after HMS Indefatigable World War I Royal Navy battlecruiser.


It was discovered in August 1966 and is 20 miles (32 km) from Lowestoft and is owned by zoe and BP and run by Shell. Leman A began production in August 1968. It connected to the Shell terminal. Leman B began production in November 1970. Leman C began in February 1972. Leman D began in August 1974. Leman E opened in August 1983. Leman F and G began in September 1987. The Leman complex of platforms connects to Bacton via Leman A, and is directly east of the Hewett complex. It is named after Sir John Leman.[4] Field gas is piped to Bacton via Leman A Complex where facilities consist of two RB211 (driving HP compression) and two Avon (driving LP compression) gas turbines.


This connects via the Leman platforms. Run by Shell and owned equally by Shell and Esso. Discovered in January 1996 and production started in January 1999. It is named after the corvette ship.


This connects via the Leman platforms. It is named after Brigantine, a type of sailing ship. It is owned by Shell and Esso and run by Shell. Brigantine A began was discovered in 1986; B was discovered in 1997; and C was discovered in 1998. All three fields began production in October 2001 via BR and BG platforms. Gas is piped to the Bacton terminal via the Corvette and Leman A Complex. It is named after the brigantine ship.


These consist of the Sean P and (smaller) Sean R platforms. The Sean North field was discovered in May 1969 and Sean South was discovered in January 1970, and production started in October 1986. It is owned equally by Shell, Esso Exploration & Production UK Ltd, Union Texas and Britoil (BP) but run by Shell. Sean East was discovered in June 1983, with production starting in November 1994.[5]

Bacton Gas Terminal


It is part of the Sole Pit field. It was discovered in March 1968. Production started in October 1990. It is owned by Shell and Esso and run by Shell. The Clipper complex has been developed as a nodal platform for the Galleon, Barque and Carrack Fields. It is named after the clipper type of ship


It is part of the Sole Pit complex. It was discovered in 1971. Production started in October 1990. It is owned by Shell and Esso and run by Shell. It is furthest north of the fields connected to Bacton, being further north of many of the Lincolnshire-connected gas fields. Piped to Bacton via Clipper complex. It is named after the barque design of ship.


It is part of the Sole Pit complex. Production started in October 1994 and was discovered in September 1969. It is owned by Shell and Esso and run by Shell. Piped to Bacton via Clipper complex. It is named after the galleon type of ship.



Located approx 120 km North East of Bacton Terminal. Production started in 2003. It is owned by Shell and Esso and run by Shell. Piped to Bacton via Clipper complex.


Run by Shell but owned by 28% by Shell UK Ltd, 28% by Esso Exploration & Production UK Ltd, 28% by ARCO British Ltd, 12% by Superior Oil (UK) Ltd, and 4% by Canadian Superior Oil UK Ltd. Discovered in September 1988 with production starting in September 2000. Connects to Bacton via the SEAL pipeline (Shearwater Elgin Area Line). The 474 km SEAL pipeline also connects to the Elgin-Franklin gas field.

Davy East[edit]

Production started in 2008. Connects to Bacton via the Indefatigable field.[6]

Thames gas fields[edit]

These fields are operated by Perenco, controlled from the Thames complex, formerly operated by Arco British Limited and then ExxonMobil. Cessation of all remaining production feeding to the Thames complex was declared in 2014 and Decommissioning commenced.

Thames, Yare, Bure, Wensum and Deben[edit]

Owned 43% by Tullow Exploration Ltd, 23% by AGIP (UK) Ltd, 23% by Superior Oil (UK) Ltd, and 10% by Centrica Resources Ltd. Production from all five fields began in October 1986. Thames was discovered in December 1973; Yare in May 1969; Bure in May 1983; and Wensum in October 1985. They are run by Tullow Oil as the Thames complex. Connects to the Tullow Bacton terminal via the Thames pipeline.[7] Bought from Agip (of Italy) by Tullow in 2003. The fields are named after the River Thames, the Yare, Bure, Wensum of Norfolk., and the Deben of Suffolk.

The Thames complex has one Solar Mars, and one Ruston Tornado and TB5 gas turbines for its compressor.

Welland NW & Welland S[edit]

Run initially by Arco, ExxonMobil and lastly Perenco and owned 34% by Tullow Exploration Ltd, 55% by Esso, and 11% by Consort EU Ltd. Welland NW was discovered in January 1984 and Welland S in June 1984. Production started in September 1990. Situated south-east of the Thames complex to which it connects to Bacton. Named after the River Welland. The Welland proved uneconomical by 2005 and was decommissioned and removed in 2010.


Operated by Eni UK this field is what was two other complexes - Dawn, Big Dotty, and Deborah, and Delilah, Della and Little Dotty. It is owned 89.31% by Eni UK with Perenco owning the remaining 10.69%. It was discovered in October 1966 and production started in July 1969. It has two pipelines to Bacton - the Thames and Hewett pipelines. It is the set of fields nearest to Bacton being 25 miles (40 km) east of Great Yarmouth. It was run by Phillips Petroleum, which became ConocoPhillips, and then largely owned and run by Tullow Oil before lastly being purchased by Eni UK.


Situated east of the Thames complex and is not yet a producing field.

Horne and Wren[edit]

South of the Thames complex. Production started in June 2005. Bought by Tullow from BP in 2004, then 50% sold to Centrica. Operated before 2004 by Shell.


It is owned and operated by Perenco Gas UK Ltd. Discovered in May 1976 and production started in November 1992. It was connected to Bacton via the Welland and Thames platforms, the Welland platform having been removed in 2010, and situated east of the Thames complex. Named after Tristan of the Arthurian legend.


South-west of the Thames complex, directly south of the Welland gas field. Named after the River Wissey in Norfolk.


Situated between the Hewett (to the west) and Thames (to the east) complexes. Connects to Bacton via the Thames complex. Production started in January 2005. Formerly owned by Tullow and run by Esso. Named after King Arthur.

Perenco gas fields[edit]

Interconnector to Zeebrugge in Belgium

The Lancelot complex is connected to Bacton via the LAPS pipeline (Lancelot Area Pipeline System), and it is also known as the LAPS complex. It is run by the Anglo-French Perenco.


Operated by Perenco UK Limited. It is owned by Perenco Gas UK Ltd 50% and Tullow Oil Ltd 50%. Discovered in December 1988 with production starting in October 1995. It connects to Bacton via the Thames complex. Situated north-east of the Thames field, completely separate (to the east) of the other Arthurian-named fields.


Operated by Perenco UK Limited. It is owned 72.23% by Perenco Gas UK Ltd, 15% by Chieftain Exploration UK Ltd, 10% by Premier Pict Petroleum Ltd, and 3% by Chieftain International North Sea Ltd. Discovered in December 1975 and production started in November 1995. Connects to the ConocoPhillips plant at Bacton via the Lancelot platform.


Operated by Perenco UK Limited. It is owned 49.5% by Perenco Gas UK Ltd, 25.5% Perenco UK Limited and 25% Nobel Energy Inc. Discovered in May 1988 and production started in June 1993. Connects to the ConocoPhillips plant at Bacton via the Lancelot platform. Situated west of the (central) Lancelot field.

Camelot N and Camelot C & S[edit]

Run by Petrofac, and owned by ERT. Camelot N discovered in November 1967 and Camelot C & S discovered in June 1987. Production started in October 1989. Connects to Bacton via the Leman complex.


The northern-most Arthurian gas field in the Lancelot complex.

Perenco gas fields[edit]

CCTV and protective perimeter fence


It is owned by Perenco UK Ltd. It was previously owned and operated by ARCO (Atlantic Richfield Company), and is now run by Perenco. It was discovered in March 1991 and production started in November 1996. It connects to the Perenco Bacton terminal via the Eagles pipeline. Has two Solar Mars gas turbines for the compressor.


It is owned by Tullow Oil Ltd. It was run by ARCO, and is now run by Perenco. It was discovered in February 1990 with production starting in August 1993. East of the Thames complex, to which it connects, and furthest east of the Bacton gas fields. Bought by Tullow from ChevronTexaco (ChevTex, since May 2005 known as Chevron) in 2004. Named after the River Orwell in Suffolk.

Tyne South & Tyne North[edit]

Furthest north of the Bacton gas fields, around the same latitude north as Teesside. Owned by Perenco UK Limited. It was run by ARCO, and is now operated by Perenco. Discovered in January 1992 and November 1996. Connects to Bacton via the Interfield pipeline and Eagles pipeline.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Perimeter fence and infrastructure

News items[edit]