Barents Sea production study identifies technology gaps

Offshore staff

OSLO, Norway – DNV GL has submitted a new study of technologies that could facilitate year-round production in the Barents Sea at the OG21 Forum in Oslo, Norway.

This relates to fields 74° North in the Norwegian sector – Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is set to issue new licenses in this area soon under the country’s 23rd licensing round.

The report concluded that available technology solutions need to be adopted for Norwegian waters, and that this should be feasible within an eight- to 10-year time frame.

Liv Hovem, DNV GL’s oil & gas divisional director for Europe and Africa, said: “We have identified close to 30 challenges to enable year-round oil and gas production in the area.

“To improve the business case for developments in this part of the shelf, key enhancing technologies within drilling, including large bore wells, as well as reservoir performance, gas compression, subsea facilities, and power supply are important to mature. Many leading companies are already well under way to develop these technologies, but more needs to be done to make year round production in eight to 10 years realistic.”

According to Per Olav Moslet, the company’s oil & gas senior principal engineer, “These enhancing technologies also strengthen the business case for field developments in the area, through increased recovery or reduction in capex or opex.

“These locations are among the northernmost locations that are open for petroleum activities in Norway. As the study shows, some elements of the physical environment are more demanding than elsewhere on the NCS [Norwegian continental shelf], for example the possibility of ice, marine icing, polar lows and fog, while other elements such as waves and wind, are less severe.”

DNV GL conducted the study in collaboration with OG21 and the latter’s Technology Target Area groups. Technologies were assessed based on three potential field development scenarios: oil production from an FPSO in the southwestern Barents Sea; subsea oil production in the southwestern Barents Sea; and gas production from an FPSO in the southeastern Barents Sea.

“There are already operations in similar environments in other places in the world, like in the Sakhalin area in Russia and Grand Banks, Canada. This means that some technologies from these areas can also be adapted for use in these areas on the NCS,” Moslet suggested.

The study team identified 11 technologies and technology areas that need to be matured:

1. Escape, evacuation and rescue infrastructure
2. Environmental risk models
3. Detection and monitoring technology of oil in and under ice
4. Ice detection, forecasting, surveillance systems
5. Ice handling systems
6. Same season relief well capability
7. Ice load prediction models
8. Escape, evacuation, and rescue technology
9. Oil spill response technology
10. Personal protection and emergency equipment
11. Winterization solutions.


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