Another rapid development is taking shape for Statoil (NYSE:STO) with the Gygrid discovery in the Norwegian Sea, which will extend the production life of the existing Njord platform by several years.
“We’ve found a very elegant solution,” reports Olav Lunde, who is project manager for the fast-track field with its estimated 30 million barrels of oil equivalent.
It is now clear that Gygrid will be tied back to the Njord A installation, which lies just less than 20 kilometers west of the discovery.
“This is the best option both technically and financially,” explains Lunde.
“We’re very pleased that we’ve now secured a decision. That means we can start work on modifying Njord to accept oil and gas from the new development.”
Gygrid is being developed via one subsea template with one production well and an injection well.
Statoil has already ordered the components for Gygrid’s subsea production system with the longest delivery times. This will allow the field to meet the original start-up date of late-2012, early-2013.
“Precisely because we’ve worked so fast on this project, we’ve managed to make a small discovery profitable and exploit spare capacity on an existing platform,” emphasizes Per Haaland, head of the group’s fast-track portfolio.
Given today’s resource base, Njord would have to shut down in 2015. But the contribution from Gygrid promises a much brighter future.
“This will represent a revitalization of the field, and will also help us to work on other measures to improve oil recovery,” says Haaland.
Discovered in June 2009, Gygrid was given the status of a fast-track project in February and the first investments were made six months later.
A final decision on developing the discovery is set to be taken during the coming winter.
Lunde believes that tying Gygrid back to Njord will have big spin-offs.
“I hope we can make further discoveries in this area, and a decision to proceed with the development makes it even more attractive to explore there.”
The four first fast-track projects – PanPandora, Katla, Gygrid and Vigdis North-East – are all on schedule.
A new wave of projects which could be developed even more quickly is now being added to the portfolio. The projects in the second wave include Fossekall/Dompap and Vilje South.
These types of developments are needed to make the small volumes profitable and to help maximize the potential of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
By rationalizing the use of time and resources, improving collaboration and adopting standardized equipment, Statoil aims to reduce the normal development time for simple projects from roughly 5 years to 2.5.