Gas began flowing to continental Europe last week from the Beta West structure in the Sleipner area of the Norwegian North Sea, which was discovered by Statoil (NYSE:STO) in 2009.
“This was one of the largest discoveries we made that year, with a well drilled from the Sleipner B platform,” reports Edvin B Ytredal, vice president for Sleipner operations.
“We’ve managed to bring the discovery on stream in less than two years, and more gas is now being delivered to European customers.”
Beta West is estimated to contain some 80 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), which will boost output from Sleipner B by about 15,000 boe per day and extend its producing life.
The first well in the structure identified potential oil resources in addition to big gas reserves. Since any oil would need to be produced first, this potential had to be assessed.
As a result, no less than five appraisal wells were drilled on the structure in less than a year before the conclusion was drawn that the oil volumes were not recoverable.
Discovered in 1974, Sleipner is located on 15/6 and 15/9 in a high activity area in the Norwegian North Sea. The Gudrun discovery is currently being developed and is estimated to start production in 2014. In addition there is high drilling activity in the Greater Sleipner area. Combined they all contribute to maintain the production level at the Norwegian Continental Shelf.