Statoil submits $115-million development plan for Gullfaks area


STAVANGER, Norway -- Statoil and its partners have submitted an amendment to the Plan for Development and Operations (PDO) for the Gullfaks license to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for phase 1 of the Shetland/Lista development.

Phase 1 of the development is expected to add 18 MMboe, and will help increase the resilience of the area for continued operation of the Gullfaks platforms in the North Sea.

“Targeted efforts are underway to cut costs and increase the profitability of our projects. By utilizing the existing infrastructure we manage to recover new resources at a lower cost, thus sustaining profitable production and long-term activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS),” Statoil’s Ivar Aasheim, senior V.P. for field development on the NCS, said.

The development concept is based on the reuse of existing wells (a total of 15) from the Gullfaks platforms, and will not require any new infrastructure. The profitability of the project will thus be very good.

Shetland/Lista has been producing under a test production license since 2013. The submitted plan defines the more long-term development of these resources. This, however, is only the first phase of the development, which involves depressurization down to bubble point pressure in the reservoir.

“Gullfaks has been a unique industrial venture. Since first oil in December 1986, the field has produced more than 2.56 Bbbl of oil and exported more than 70 billion standard cubic meters of gas,” Kjetil Hove, senior V.P. for operations west, development and production Norway, said.

“The current recovery rate on the main Gullfaks field is 59%, and with a productive life towards 2036 our aim is to further increase this rate,” Hove added.

Investment costs are estimated at about $115 million (NOK 900 million).

Statoil continues its efforts to realize the next phase based on pressure maintenance. This is expected to significantly improve the recovery rate for Shetland/Lista.

The Shetland Group and Lista formation have different properties as compared with the deeper deposits of the Brent Group, where the main Gullfaks reservoirs are located. The producing interval in Shetland/Lista consists of thin limestone beds that are fractured and thus contribute to good productivity.

Indications of hydrocarbons in the Shetland Group/Lista Formation have long been known. Good productivity was initially established in December 2012, and has been confirmed through perforation in another three existing Gullfaks wells. This has warranted commercial development of the play.

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