Photo: Ekofisk Complex; Courtesy of ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips set to deploy Prosafe unit at Norway’s first producing field

Oil major ConocoPhillips has received consent from the offshore safety regulator to use one of Prosafe’s semi-submersible accommodation units at Norway’s first producing field, located in the North Sea off Norway.

The Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said on Thursday that it had given ConocoPhillips consent to use the mobile accommodation rig Safe Boreas at the Ekofisk field.

The Prosafe-owned Safe Boreas, a sister vessel to the Safe Zephyrus, was built at Jurong Shipyard, Singapore, to the GVA 3000E design and is equipped with a DP3 system and 12-point wire mooring arrangement.

Delivered in 2015, the Safe Boreas unit has a large open deck area of more than 1000m2 and two 50 tonne cranes. It received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in November 2015, allowing it to perform its maiden contract on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) supporting Lundin Petroleum during hook-up and commissioning activities at the Edvard Grieg facility.

ConocoPhillips secures approval to deploy Prosafe unit at Norway's first producing field
Safe Boreas; Source: Prosafe

In its fleet utilization report for the 4Q 2021, Prosafe confirmed that this unit completed the contract for CNOOC on 14 October 2021 at Buzzard in the UK. Afterwards, the vessel was taken to a yard to prepare for the ConocoPhillips contract at Ekofisk, which is scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2022.

When it comes to the project the Safe Boreas will be working on, Prosafe explained back in October 2020 that the contract is related to the tie-in of the Tommeliten Alpha field development into the Ekofisk Complex.

A plan for the development and operation (PDO) of the Tommeliten A field in the North Sea was submitted to Norwegian and UK authorities in November 2021 and includes the installation of a new processing module.

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The total capital investment associated with the project is estimated to be approximately NOK 13 billion ($1.5 billion gross) and the first production is expected in 2024. It is worth noting that Aker Solutions was awarded a large topside modification contract by ConocoPhillips for this project. 

As previously reported, the resource potential for the Tommeliten A field is estimated to be in the range of 80-180 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly comprising gas condensate and the new greenfield facilities will be located about 25 kilometres southwest of the Ekofisk Complex.

Ekofisk Complex; Source: ConocoPhillips

Located in the southern part of the Norwegian sector in the North Sea, the Ekofisk field lies in a water depth of 70-75 metres. It was discovered in 1969, and the initial plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1972. This field, where test production was initiated in 1971 and ordinary production started in 1972, has been developed with many facilities, including facilities for associated fields and export pipelines.

The Ekofisk field produces both oil and gas while the Ekofisk Complex comprises all installations which are connected with bridges on the central Ekofisk field and it serves as a hub for the production from the Ekofisk field itself, and from the other fields in the Greater Ekofisk Area. The production from other fields in the area is transported via the Ekofisk Complex to the receiving terminals in Emden, Germany (gas) and Teesside, UK (oil).