Alvheim FPSO; Source: Aker BP

Norway greenlights $700 million tie-back project in North Sea

Norway’s oil and gas player Aker BP has received approval from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for a plan for development and operation (PDO) of its offshore tie-back project in the North Sea, which has a planned investment of about NOK 6 billion or around $700 million.

Alvheim FPSO; Source: Aker BP

Back in August 2022, Aker BP handed over the PDO for the Trell & Trine (now renamed Tyrving) in the Alvheim area to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE). The Trell (production licence 102 F/G) and Trine (production licence 036E/F) discoveries are located 24 kilometres east of the Alvheim FPSO.

As this project has received the green light, its development will utilise the planned extended lifetime for the Alvheim field, increase production, and reduce both unit costs and CO2 per barrel. The Tyrving development is planned with three wells and two new subsea installations (manifolds) to be tied back to the existing infrastructure on East Kameleon and further on to the Alvheim FPSO

Terje Aasland, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, commented: “I am very pleased to see utilisation of existing infrastructure to increase production of oil and gas. This extends the lifespan of important fields on the Norwegian continental shelf at a time when Europe needs all the energy we can supply. And since we, on this particular day, celebrate the 15th anniversary of Alvheim, it is appropriate for me to announce the approval of the development of Tyrving tie-in project.”

The production is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2025 and recoverable resources are estimated to be approximately 25 million barrels of oil equivalent. This project will produce very low emissions, estimated at 0.3 kg CO2 per barrel. The development will be carried out in cooperation with Aker BP’s alliance partners. The Norwegian player is the operator of this project and its licence partners are Petoro and PGNiG Upstream Norway.

Tyrving; Source: Aker BP

The Alvheim field consists of the Kneler, Boa, Kameleon and East Kameleon structures, subsequently joined by the Viper-Kobra structures and the Gekko discovery. The Alvheim area includes satellite fields Bøyla, Vilje, Volund and Skogul. All of these fields produce via the Alvheim FPSO, which came on stream on 8 June 2008.

Ine Dolve, SVP for the Alvheim Asset in Aker BP, remarked: “It is people and technology – not luck – that has made Alvheim the success story it is today. The subsurface is challenging with many thin oil zones. The high recovery rate we have achieved is to a large extent attributed to a world-class subsurface team, drilling engineers and operations personnel.”

When the PDO for the Alvheim field was submitted to the Norwegian government in 2004, the reserves estimate was 171 million barrels of oil equivalents. The production from the field exceeded this volume in early 2014. Aker BP highlights that the amount produced from the Alvheim area in total is more than three times the PDO estimate.

“New discoveries and fields linked to the Alvheim FPSO contribute to the fact that we are now planning operations until 2040 and have an ambition for the vessel to process a billion barrels before we shut down,” concluded Dolve.

In line with this, the company is making progress on projects in the Alvheim area, which will be tied back to the Alvheim FPSO. This includes the Kobra East Gekko project for which the first oil is expected in 2024.

Aker BP also got one step closer to getting the final stamp of approval for the development of several other oil and gas projects in the North Sea a few days ago, as the Storting said yes to its PDOs. The ball is now in the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy’s court.

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These projects are worth more than NOK 165 billion (nearly $14.9 billion) in investments.

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