Statoil is reported to be targeting additional investments totalling Nkr20 billion ($3.6 billion) on its veteran Gullfaks field off Norway as it seeks to boost recovery and curb the risk of further leaks from the high-pressure reservoir.
state-owned operator is already pumping Nkr15 billion into four projects being
implemented at the North Sea field with the aim of extracting another 142
million barrels of oil equivalent and extending its producing life.
projects are now being planned that would boost the investment figure to Nkr35
billion, including a new subsea facility and upgrades to the field’s three
platforms – Gullfaks A, B and C – with the schemes still being matured by
management, Teknisk Ukeblad reported.
The oil and
gas field, which came on stream in 1986, may still be only halfway through its
producing life, according to Gullfaks production chief Gunnar Nakken.
company remains tight-lipped on the additional investments, a spokesman said
the already announced Nkr15 billion spending “may not be enough”.
Nkr9 billion is being invested to install two new subsea templates for six
additional wells over the next two years, while drilling equipment on Gullfaks
B is to be upgraded at a cost of Nkr1.5 billion.
Statoil is reported to be using substantial sums on mapping the entire Gullfaks
area to determine where reservoir pressure is highest on the field, where a
series of gas leaks have put the operator under the safety spotlight.
notably, the operator was hauled over the coals by Norway’s Petroleum Safety
Authority following a serious leak on Gullfaks B in December 2010 that the
agency said could have led to an explosion.
also been subsequent more minor leaks on the same facility and Gullfaks A, as well
as drilling rig Songa Dee, as Statoil has grappled with reservoir pressure challenges.
operator has been using water and gas injection to provide pressure support in
the reservoir, that comprises the Brent, Cook, Statfjord and Lunde formations
at a depth of between 1700 and 2000 metres.
the mapping exercise, Statoil intends to locate new wells around and to the
side of high-pressure zones, as well as implement additional barriers, to minimise
the leak risk. The number of injection wells will also be increased.
located in production licences 050 and 050B in a water depth of up to 220
metres, is operated by Statoil with a 70% stake, with state holding company
Petoro on 30%.