Photo: Ivar Aasen platform; Source: Aker BP

Aker BP sanctions North Sea discovery important for Ivar Aasen area

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP and its licence partners Equinor and Spirit Energy have affirmed the investment decision (DG3) for the development of the Hanz discovery in the North Sea, which will enable good production from the nearby Ivar Aasen field for several years.

Announcing the project sanction on Wednesday, Aker BP said it has matured a solution involving the reuse of existing infrastructure, which both strengthens project economics and minimises the environmental footprint.

Namely, Hanz is an oil and gas discovery that will be tied into the Aker BP-operated Ivar Aasen platform, which is located about twelve kilometres further south. The first oil from Ivar Aasen was produced on 24 December 2016.

Aker BP and its partners will invest about NOK 3.3 billion or about $363 million for the project with total reserves of around 20 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). The expected start-up is in the first half of 2024.

Development and operation of the Ivar Aasen field, including Hanz, was subject to a full impact assessment in 2012 and the Hanz concept was also described in the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) for the Ivar Aasen field.

SVP Operations & Asset Development in Aker BP, Ine Dolve, commented: “Over the last few years, we have matured an optimised development solution, in part through re-use of subsea production systems (SPS) from the Jette field. This development solution will be more cost-efficient and have a smaller environmental footprint than the original concept that was described when the PDO was first delivered.”

According to Aker BP, a substantial reduction of power consumption, less use of chemicals, and less equipment on the seabed will be achieved through the use of a cross-stream well for water injection.

Dolve added: “The selected development solution provides both better project economy and significantly lower emissions and environmental footprint than we previously assumed.”

The change in the development solution for Hanz since the PDO was submitted means that the partnership will send a formal statement regarding the investment decision and the selected concept to the authorities.

Aker BP’s Ivar Aasen asset manager, Gudmund Evju, underlined the importance of the development of the Hanz discovery for maintaining good production from the Ivar Aasen platform for several more years.

“At the same time, we are searching for new oil and gas resources in the area, both through improved recovery measures and exploration, with the objective of tying additional volumes into the field centre,” Evju added.

Ivar Aasen receives power from the Edvard Grieg platform ten kilometres to the southeast. From 2022, the field will receive power from shore via the Johan Sverdrup field, thereby minimising CO2 emissions.

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Also this week, Aker BP awarded contracts to alliance partners for front-end engineering and design valued at approximately NOK 440 million or about $49 million as part of its efforts to extend the life of the Valhall area located in the North Sea.

The contracts cover a new central platform on Valhall as well as a new platform and tie-in of the King Lear field. The concept consists of a new process and wellhead platform (NCP), which has a bridge connection to the Valhall field centre and an unmanned platform on King Lear around 50 km from the field centre.