Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes officially opened the Ivar Aasen field in the North Sea on Monday, February 13.
Oil production from the Aker BP-operated field started on December 24, 2016, four years after the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) was submitted. The total cost of the project was in the region of NOK 27.4 billion ($3.27 billion).
“The development of Ivar Aasen is an important milestone for the oil industry, and represents significant values for the Norwegian society,” said Søviknes at the opening ceremony conducted on the helideck on the Ivar Aasen platform.
Aker BP said on Monday that this was the minister’s first visit to an oil platform since his rather recent appointment as the new Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
The company added that more than 5,000 people, primarily in Trondheim, London, Singapore, Arbatax (Sardinia), Stord, and Oslo, have spent more than 17 million working hours on the project. Operations are controlled from an operations center in Trondheim with a core offshore staffing during normal operations consisting of 21 people.
Aker BP CEO, Karl Johnny Hersvik, said: “Production start-up was a huge milestone for Aker BP as a company. This would not have been possible without skilled, safety-conscious employees and suppliers working closely together. We have achieved good results by working as a single team with a common goal – completely in line with our values.”
“Ivar Aasen has been organized and will be operated in a way that is completely in line with our cost-saving strategy,” added Hersvik.
The recoverable reserves for the Ivar Aasen project are estimated at more than 200 million barrels of oil equivalents. The field’s economic lifetime could be 20 years, depending on oil prices and production development.
Aker BP, a new E&P player in Norway, established on September 30 of last year following the merger of Det norske oljeselskap and BP Norge and the operator of Ivar Aasen, has activities and ownership in licenses along the entire Norwegian coast, from the southern part of the North Sea to the Barents Sea.
Øyvind Eriksen, chairman of the board of Aker BP ASA and CEO in Aker ASA, said: “Aker BP has considerable confidence in the Norwegian Shelf as an attractive area for investment. This applies to exploration, field development, operation, and further development of the fields where we are the operator. In this landscape, start-up of production on Ivar Aasen is an important source of inspiration for us.”
The field is located in the North Sea, some 175 kilometers west of Karmøy. It was discovered in 2008 and was assessed together with previous discoveries in the nearby area. In December 2012, Det Norske submitted a plan for development and operation of the Ivar Aasen field to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE). The Norwegian Parliament approved the plan in May 2013.
The Ivar Aasen field is developed together with the Edvard Grieg field, located ten km further southeast. The gas is exported via the UK Shelf while the oil from the two fields is exported through a new pipeline from the Edvard Grieg field to the Grane oil pipeline, and further on to the Sture terminal.