Statoil: Smørbukk South Extension is producing from tight reservoir

Two and a half years after project sanction, production has begun from the Smørbukk South Extension, according to Statoil. The offshore project at the Åsgard field is a project in production from tight formations.

Statoil says that, through a combination of wells with long well sections and new completion technology, oil and gas are now being produced from a reservoir previously regarded as not feasible. This pioneer project opens up possibilities for other similar developments.

The reserves in the Smørbukk South Extension project are estimated to be 16.5 million bbl oil equivalent and will “contribute significantly to the production from the Åsgard A FPSO in the times ahead,” according to a Statoil press release.

The field was discovered in 1985, but, due to low permeability, the volumes were regarded as not economical to develop. The hydrocarbons in the Smørbukk South Extension project are located in reservoirs with varying porosity ranging from “bricks to tiles.”

"This has been a world-class challenge; very few offshore fields have been developed with such low permeability under normal pressure conditions," says asset owner representative, Ove Andre Pettersen.

The main solution for cracking the code with such tight reservoirs is to drill long horizontal reservoir sections. At Smørbukk South Extention, a multilateral production well with approximately 5,200-meter reservoir exposure has been drilled.

Utilizing the existing infrastructure at the Åsgard field has, according to Pettersen, been a precondition for the feasibility and profitability of the project.

In addition to drilling long reservoir sections, “fishbone” technology has been implemented for the first time on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to further increase productivity. This technology involves drilling 150 “fishbones,” where each “bone” is 10–12 meters long into the reservoir from the main well.

“This is an important step forward in testing and implementing a technology that enables increased oil recovery from reservoirs where the method of fracking is not feasible,” said Mari Skaug, Petech manager at Åsgard. “The experience gained with long reservoir sections and ‘fishbones’ opens up for several new projects both at the Åsgard field and elsewhere on the NCS.”

Åsgard unit partnership includes Statoil Petroleum AS, 34.57%; Petoro AS, 35.69%; Eni Norge AS, 14.82%; Total E&P Norge AS, 7.68%; and ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS, 7.24%.

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