More North Sea gas gushes out as cross-border project comes on stream ahead of schedule
U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips has started production from a cross-border field in the North Sea six months ahead of schedule, ensuring more Norwegian gas for the energy market.
Even though the discovery was made as early as 1977, a plan for the development and operation (PDO) of the Tommeliten A field was not submitted until 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 greenlighted the start-up of production from the field on October 5, 2023. This is a gas and condensate discovery southwest of the Ekofisk field in the southern part of the North Sea.
The ORLEN Group, which holds more than 42% interest in the Tommeliten A project through its subsidiary PGNiG Upstream Norway, confirmed on Friday, October 13, 2023, that the production was launched six months earlier than scheduled. The company expects that the gas extracted from the field will strengthen Poland’s energy security this heating season, as it will provide the firm with an additional 0.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, which will be supplied to the country via the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline.
Daniel Obajtek, President of the Management Board of ORLEN, commented: “Tommeliten A is one of the ORLEN Group’s largest investment projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Not only because of the size of the reserves, but also because we are the largest shareholder of this deposit. The launch of Tommeliten A means a surge in gas production for the ORLEN Group, by 0.5 billion cubic meters annually. This brings us closer to achieving our strategic goal of doubling production in Norway to 6 billion cubic meters per year.
“Increasing production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is one of the ORLEN Group’s priorities to ensure uninterrupted supplies of raw materials needed by the Polish economy. Thanks to the good cooperation between our Norwegian company and the other shareholders of the deposit, we were able to accelerate the commencement of production of Tommeliten A by almost six months. This is a great success, which proves the company’s high competence in the implementation of mining projects and is of significant importance for strengthening Poland’s energy security.”
Four more wells left for 2024
The Tommeliten A field’s reserves are estimated at 120-180 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which the ORLEN Group’s share is 50-76 million barrels of oil equivalent, including 6-9 billion cubic meters of gas. The production from the field will be enabled using 11 wells and delivered via a pipeline to the infrastructure in the PL 018 license area, from where it will be transported after further treatment.
Tommeliten A is a subsea development with two subsea templates and enough space to accommodate a total of 12 wells. With seven wells completed as of start-up, the operator expects to complete the four remaining wells during the first quarter of 2024. The 12th well slot will be reserved as a potential future replacement well.
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. This is primarily a Norwegian development, however, a marginal part of the find lies on the British shelf, thus, it is a cross-border field.
According to ORLEN, the start of production from the Tommeliten A field is one of nine investment projects it initiated in the last two years to increase gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Currently, the company’s oil and gas reserves on the NCS amount to more than 346 million barrels of oil equivalent.
In addition to ORLEN’s PIGNiG Upstream Norway, the other partners in the Tommeliten A license are: ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (operator), TotalEnergies EP Norge, Vår Energi, ConocoPhillips (U.K.) Holdings Limited, TotalEnergies E&P UK Limited, Eni UK Limited.