Photo: Load-out of pump station at OneSubsea, Horsøy near Bergen. (Photo: Jan Arne Wold & Audun Skadberg / Equinor)

Equinor improves Vigdis recovery by 16 million barrels

A pump on the seabed gives the Equinor-operated Vigdis oil field in the North Sea a boost that increases production by around 16 million barrels.

This embedded content is only visible after accepting cookies.

The Vigdis field lies in block 34/7 in the Tampen area of the Norwegian North Sea. The subsea field has produced oil via the Snorre field for 24 years. When the field came on stream in 1997, it was expected to produce 200 million barrels.

So far, it has produced twice as much and based on new estimates the recoverable resources are 475 million barrels, Equinor said on Friday.

“Increasing production from existing fields is important for value creation on the Norwegian continental shelf. We have further developed Vigdis in several phases over several years“, said Asbjørn Løve, vice president for the Snorre field.

In December 2018, the licence partners – Petoro, Vår Energi, Idemitsu and Wintershall Dea as well as Equinor – decided to invest around NOK 1.4 billion in the Vigdis Boosting project. Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy approved the Vigdis boosting station project in July 2019.

This is a project for improved oil recovery (IOR), which includes a multiphase boosting station increasing production from existing wells. This pump came on stream in May.

“Providing new oil barrels at a highly competitive price, the project has been completed with excellent HSE results”, said Geir Tungesvik, senior vice president for project development in Equinor.

Connected to the existing pipeline between Vigdis and Snorre A, the boosting station helps bring the well stream from the subsea field up to the platform. In addition, it reduces wellhead pressure, which also leads to higher oil recovery from the wells.

“Advanced processing equipment on the seabed is key in our subsea factory strategy, aiming to increase and extend production from existing fields and contribute to new development solutions on new fields”, said Tungesvik.

According to Equinor, the use of subsea pumps is particularly important to deepwater fields with long distances between subsea facilities and platforms.

The contract for supplying the boosting system, including the template and trawl protection, was awarded to OneSubsea in December 2018, with engineering in Bergen and assembly at Horsøy near Bergen.

The company is cooperating with sub-suppliers in Western Norway, such as Framo Flatøy, which fabricated the pump, RadøyGruppen, which fabricated the subsea template, and Luster Mekaniske Industri, which supplied the pipelines.

In addition to the subsea boosting station, smaller modifications have been made to Snorre A, which receives the oil from Vigdis, and Snorre B, which supplies the new boosting station with power from a new umbilical supplied by Nexans. Wood has been the main supplier for the modifications and the marine operations have been carried out by DeepOcean.