Photo: Illustration; Source: ConocoPhillips

Norwegian govt gives the go-ahead to ConocoPhillips for cross-border North Sea project

Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has approved a development plan for the ConocoPhillips-operated cross-border field in the North Sea.

Back in November 2021, a plan for the development and operation (PDO) of the Tommeliten A field in the North Sea was submitted to Norwegian and UK authorities, including the installation of a new processing module.

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In an update on Friday, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy revealed that it has approved this development plan for the Tommeliten A project.

Terje Aasland, Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, remarked: “The development of Tommeliten A will contribute to maintaining the gas supply from the Ekofisk area from the middle of this decade. It is a gratifying further development of the petroleum resources and infrastructure in the most mature part of the Norwegian continental shelf.”

Tommeliten A, a gas and condensate discovery southwest of the Ekofisk field in the southern part of the North Sea, is primarily a Norwegian development, however, a marginal part of the find lies on the British shelf. Therefore, as it is a cross-border field, the project is being developed in accordance with the UK and Norwegian authorities’ guidelines for the development of transboundary oil and gas fields. Due to this, the Norwegian authorities confirmed that it “must also be approved by the UK government.” 

According to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the entire development and operation of Tommeliten A is planned on the Norwegian shelf and expected recoverable reserves are estimated to be about 21 million standard cubic meters (Sm 3 ) of oil equivalents, of which slightly more than three quarters is gas. 

The resource potential for the Tommeliten A field is estimated to be in the range of 80-180 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly comprising gas condensate and the new greenfield facilities will be located about 25 kilometres southwest of the Ekofisk Complex.

“This development is an example of good neighbourliness. Together with our companies and friends in the UK, we now realize the values ​​in one of our older finds,” added Aasland.

On the Norwegian side of the border, the licensees are ConocoPhillips Scandinavia (28.1355 per cent), PGNiG Upstream Norway (42.1978 per cent), Totalenergies (20.1430 per cent) and Vår Energi (9.0907 per cent). On the UK side, the partners in the field are ConocoPhillips (0.2109 per cent), Totalenergies (0.1510 per cent) and Eni (0.0681 per cent).

Following start-up, the Norwegian authorities expect the project to quickly achieve the highest production level, while the operator expects the field to produce for 25 years.

The total capital investment associated with the project is estimated to be approximately NOK 13 billion ($1.5 billion gross) and the first production is expected in 2024. It is worth noting that Aker Solutions was awarded a large topside modification contract by ConocoPhillips for this project. 

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Proven in 1977, the Tommeliten Alpha discovery is located in the southern part of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, at a water depth of 75 meters while the reservoir lies at a depth of about 3,000 meters.

The project is planned as a subsea development with ten production wells and an electrically heated flowline, tied into the Ekofisk Complex, where a new processing module will be in charge of processing it. Afterwards, gas will be exported to Emden in Germany, while oil will be piped to Teeside in the UK.