Repsol reopens North Sea field after oil spill-related shutdown

Spanish oil and gas company Repsol has experienced production interruption at its operated Yme field located in the North Sea offshore Norway but the field has now been restarted.

Yme field - Repsol
Yme field; Courtesy of Repsol

The Yme field was shut in during the Easter holidays following the detection of a minor oil spill, Repsol’s partner, OKEA, reported this week. On Thursday, OKEA was informed by Repsol Norge about the production restart.

According to OKEA, the source of the leak has been identified in a pipe between the wellhead platform and the subsea storage tank. Until the issue is fixed, Yme will produce directly to a large tanker vessel, Bodil Knudsen, starting at the beginning of May. The tanker’s storage capacity is about 1 million barrels of oil.

OKEA noted that there is still uncertainty related to the volumes from Yme as the field is still in the ramp-up phase. Production from Yme is planned to ramp up to plateau production during 3Q 2022.

This is the second announced shutdown of the Yme field following the one in November 2021, less than a month after the first oil. The field had been shut down in November in order to “assess the high oil in water readings.”

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The Yme field is located in the Egersund Basin, approximately 130 km from the Norwegian coastline. It was first brought on stream by Equinor back in 1996 only to be shut down in 2001 due to the low oil price environment, rendering it unprofitable at the time.

Repsol took over the project in 2015. In December 2017, Repsol submitted a revised PDO for the field, which was approved in March 2018. The new development project for the field entailed the engineering, procurement and installation of a new wellhead module on top of the existing facilities, the modifications and upgrading of the Maersk Inspirer mobile offshore drilling and production unit prior to installation in the field and subsequent hook-up to existing wells in and installations on the seabed offshore.

Following years of delays, the Yme field started producing again in late October 2021. It was one of the first oil fields on the Norwegian shelf to be redeveloped after it was shut down.