Speeding up the development time is an important way of realizing Statoil’s objective of maintaining oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf at the current level. The first four fast-track developments are on schedule and the portfolio is now being expanded with three new projects that may be developed even faster.
“We have already gained valuable experience,” says Stale Tungesvik, Statoil’s head of reserve replacement and business development on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). “I am firmly convinced that the next projects will be carried out even faster and at a lower cost.”
The first four projects, PanPandora, Katla, Vigdis North-East and Gygrid are now the spearhead of Statoil’s focus on fast-track developments.
PanPandora is in the forefront: In just six months the subsea equipment has been ordered, the drilling rig contract has been awarded and the receiving platform has been chosen. Planned production start on the field is around three years after the discovery was made, which is much faster than the average.
More projects ready for development
“We have already experienced that standardization of equipment reduces costs,” says Tungesvik. “We also see that we can save even more time and money if we further improve our working method.”
And we have good reason for improvement, because we already have three new projects that are ready for fast-track development: Fossekall and Dompap north of the Norne ship in the Norwegian Sea, and Vilje South close to the Marathon-operated Alvheim field in the northern part of the North Sea.
“We continuously assess possible fast-track developments – and little by little there may be many such developments because a number of existing production plants in areas with promising finds and prospects have available capacity,” says Tungesvik.
More exploration in the neighborhood
Due to the fast-track focus Statoil is escalating its exploration effort near production plants with available capacity. Four areas in particular stand out:
Norne has available oil capacity and a well-developed infrastructure. Norne has already several satellite fields, but Statoil believes that finds can still be made in this part of the Norwegian Sea.
Snorre has a well-established infrastructure and a plant with available capacity. Snorre lies in a prospective area of the North Sea of which Statoil has experience and thorough knowledge. Statoil will continue its exploration activity in this area.
Katla was found in the area close to Oseberg in 2009. There are still many promising exploration opportunities in this part of the North Sea, and the Oseberg facilities have capacity to receive more oil.
Sleipner is a well maintained plant with available capacity and there are promising prospects in the larger area surrounding this field in the North Sea.
“We will concentrate much of our exploration effort in these areas,” says Tungesvik. “We have good knowledge of the geology in this area, and long experience that enables us to interpret the subsurface faster. Our goal is to drill only one exploration well per discovery before we start the field development.”
Making small fields profitable
All fast-track developments consist of one single subsea template, a few wells and tie-back to existing plants.
“This way we manage to make these smaller volumes profitable and help maximise the potential on the NCS,” says Tungesvik.
Statoil continues its focus on fast-track developments with three new projects