Statoil considers floating rig for Skrugard arctic deposit

By Brien Southward

Statoil may be using a large floating production system to develop Norway's vast Skrugard field in the Barents Sea, Reuters reports. Based on a feasibility study released by Statoil, the floating system could be big enough to accommodate other nearby prospects as well.

The floating system would remain on the surface, unlike similar systems that have been on fixed legs or fully submerged. Statoil suggests that such a system could be cost effective, easy to deploy, and adaptable. A floating rig in the Skrugard region, Statoil suggests, could produce up to 95,000 barrels per day and provide separate transport and offloading capability.

The Skrugard deposit is located roughly 230 kilometers north of Norway’s northern coastal islands, in an area that can experience harsh weather. "Skrugard will mainly be based on familiar technology, while making allowances for harsh weather regions," said Erik Strand Tellefsen, Statoil’s vice president for Skrugard operations.

According to Statoil, the field contains around 250 million barrels of recoverable oil, roughly half of a previous best-case estimate. It remains uncertain exactly when the production system will be in place and active. Reuters reports that, earlier this year, Statoil said that bringing a discovery like Skrugard to production normally takes 5 to 10 years.

The Skrugard find, discovered in April of 2011, is a significant part of the recent shift of focus to energy resources in the Arctic region. Russian and Canadian companies have also been exploring avenues for utilizing their resources in the region as well.

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