All-systems-go for ConocoPhillips to bring online cross-border North Sea project
Norwegian authorities have given their blessing for the start-up of the ConocoPhillips-operated cross-border field in the North Sea.
While the discovery was made as early as 1977, a plan for the development and operation (PDO) of the Tommeliten A field in the North Sea was submitted in November 2021 to Norwegian and UK authorities, including the installation of a new processing module. The PDO for the project was approved in July 2022.
The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy revealed on Thursday, October 5, 2023, that consent was granted for the start-up of the Tommeliten A field, which is a gas and condensate discovery southwest of the Ekofisk field in the southern part of the North Sea.
This is primarily a Norwegian development, however, a marginal part of the find lies on the British shelf. Therefore, as it is a cross-border field, the project is being developed in accordance with the UK and Norwegian authorities’ guidelines for the development of transboundary oil and gas fields.
ConocoPhillips estimates that around 24 million standard cubic meters (150 million barrels) of oil equivalent can be recovered from Tommeliten A. The operator estimates investments for developing this project at around NOK 13 billion or $1.18 billion. ConocoPhillips expects the field to come on stream this month. Previously, the first production was anticipated in 2024.
Tomas Mørch, assistant director of Licence Management in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, commented: “The Tommeliten A development is a good example of sound utilization of existing infrastructure in the area. It’s gratifying to see that an older discovery from 1977 has now been matured into a profitable and robust field development that’s ready to come on stream.
“It’s also gratifying that the project has been completed ahead of schedule and within the cost framework. We also note that the same type of subsea technology used on Tommeliten A could potentially be applied for other development projects in the area.”
Furthermore, Tommeliten A is a subsea development with two subsea templates and enough space to accommodate a total of twelve wells. While the well stream will be routed to the Ekofisk field for further processing and export, the gas will be exported to Emden in Germany. On the other hand, oil and wet gas will be routed via pipeline to Teesside in the United Kingdom. Aker Solutions was awarded a large topside modification contract by ConocoPhillips for the project.
The project will include eleven development wells, seven of which will be completed as of start-up. The operator expects to complete the four remaining wells during the first quarter of 2024. The twelfth well slot will be reserved as a potential future replacement well. Several attempts to mature Tommeliten A have been made in the past, but insufficient processing capacity on Ekofisk was one of the roadblocks encountered. This is no longer an issue.