Consent for ConocoPhillips to use West Linus rig on Tor

Oil major ConocoPhillips has received consent from the offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), for production drilling on the Tor field off Norway using the West Linus drilling rig.

West Linus; Image source: Seadrill

The PSA said on Friday that the consent covered the drilling and completion of eight production wells in connection with the new development of the Tor II field.

The Tor field is located in the southern part of the North Sea, north-east of Ekofisk. ConocoPhillips operates the project with a 30,66 percent stake, Total owns 48,2 percent, Vår Energi 10,82 percent, Equinor 6,64 percent, and Petoro 3,69 percent.

ConocoPhillips submitted a plan for development and operation (PDO) for a re-development of the Tor field to Norwegian authorities in July 2019. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy approved ConocoPhillips’ development plan for the Tor 2 earlier in November.

The field was in production from 1978 until it was shut down in 2015 when the installation reached the end of its lifetime. At shutdown, just 20 percent of the resources in place had been produced.

Tor will be re-developed via a two-by-four slot Subsea Production System (SPS) with eight production wells. The SPS is planned to be connected to the Ekofisk Complex by multiphase production and lift gas pipelines to existing risers at the Ekofisk 2/4 M wellhead platform. Controls and utilities are provided through a service umbilical from the same existing platform.

Seven production wells are planned to be drilled in the Tor formation. In addition, a pilot well is planned to test long-term productivity in the Ekofisk formation. The resource potential for the Tor II project is in the range of 60-70 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The recoverable reserves are estimated at 10 million standard cubic meters of oil equivalents (Sm3).

The plan is to re-start production in late 2020. The total investment costs for the re-development are estimated at NOK 6.1 billion ($664 million).

It is worth noting that the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy approved ConocoPhillips’ development plan for the Tor 2 earlier in November.

As for the West Linus, it is a jack-up rig of a Gusto MSC CJ70-X150A type. The rig is owned and operated by Seadrill.

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