Statfjord C platform; Credit: Harald Pettersen/Equinor

North Sea project comes online six months ahead of schedule

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has started production from a project, which is expected to boost production by 26 million barrels of oil equivalents from a field in the North Sea off Norway.

Statfjord C platform; Credit: Harald Pettersen/Equinor

This comes only days after the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) revealed that the licensees in the Statfjord Øst field had received consent to use new facilities linked to a gas lift project on the field, mainly consisting of a new gas lift pipeline from the Statfjord C platform and out to the existing subsea templates, and re-drilling of wells to new locations, complete with gas lift. 

According to Equinor, the project was completed with “sound safety results” and is expected to deliver within the estimated cost, despite the inflation and weakened Norwegian krone. The company highlights that the production starts six months ahead of schedule. As a result of this project, the oil recovery rate from the field is expected to rise from 58 to 63 per cent.

Camilla Salthe, Equinor’s senior vice president for Field Life eXtension (FLX), commented: “This proves the importance of extending the life of mature fields and maximising value creation from existing infrastructure on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

“The project contributes to extending the life of Statfjord C to 2040. The profitability is high, and the value of increased production equals around NOK 20 billion at the current oil price. This is a good use of resources which provide ripple effects for Norwegian suppliers.”

Furthermore, the Norwegian giant explains that two new wells have been drilled from existing subsea templates, and three additional wells are to be drilled. As Statfjord Øst is tied to the Statfjord C platform, the project includes a modification on Statfjord C and the laying of a new pipeline for gas lift to the subsea wells.

Located in the Tampen area in the North Sea, seven kilometres northeast of the Statfjord field, the Statfjord Øst field lies in a water depth of 150-190 metres. It was discovered in 1976 and the plan for development and operation was approved in 1990.

The field has been developed with two subsea production templates and one water injection template tied back to the Statfjord C platform. In addition, two production wells have been drilled from Statfjord C. The production from the field started in 1994. The project, which is now online, was decided by the partnership in 2020 and approved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2021.

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Ketil Rongved, Equinor’s vice president for FLX projects, remarked: “This is a good example of how we work with mature fields. Equinor aims to be a leading operator of late-life fields on the NCS. That means that we need to find new ways of working to reduce costs. Together with our partners, we have developed simpler and faster solutions while maintaining high quality.”

The Statfjord field is located in the Tampen area in the northern part of the North Sea on the border between the Norwegian and British sectors. The Norwegian share of the field is 85.47 per cent and the water depth at the site is 150 metres. Discovered in 1974, the Statfjord field has been developed with three production platforms: Statfjord AStatfjord B, and Statfjord C. This last platform came into production in 1985.

According to Equinor, Statfjord Nord, Statfjord Øst and Sygna are three satellite fields tied back to the Statfjord C platform and the Statfjord Øst field is equally split between production licences 037 in block 33/9 – Statfjord area – and 089 in block 34/7 (Snorre area).

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