Det norske to develop Viper-Kobra discoveries using Alvheim FPSO

Norwegian oil company Det norske has decided to develop Viper-Kobra discoveries in the North Sea. The project comprises two small discoveries in the Alvheim area, offshore Norway.

According to plan, approximately 7 500 barrels will be flowing into the Alvheim FPSO every day around Christmas time 2016.

Viper-Kobra is located in the Alvheim area and consists of two separate discoveries with a potentially connected reservoir. Kobra was discovered in 1997 (production licence 203) and Viper (production licence 203) in 2009. Viper-Kobra is not a separate field, but constitutes part of the Alvheim field. Thus, the development is included in the PDO for Alvheim, as are the other structures in the area.

“The existing infrastructure in the area renders this project profitable. The key is to develop both discoveries with the same infrastructure, thus ensuring maximum utilization of the resources”, says the SVP Technology and Field Development of Det norske, Øyvind Bratsberg.

The two reservoirs contain approximately 4 million barrels of recoverable oil each. Including some gas, total recoverable reserves are estimated at 9 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The estimated output of the wells is an average daily rate of 7 500 barrels of oil equivalent.

The development costs for Viper-Kobra are estimated at approximately NOK 1.8 billion. This includes the drilling of two wells, subsea installations, pipelines and hook-up.

“Even though this is probably one of the smallest discoveries on the Norwegian shelf being developed the profitability is good, and the project is important to us. The development has been approved in Det norske, and the partners have given their consent”, says Bratsberg.

The development comprises a new subsea installation with a pipeline tied into the Volund manifold. The four well slots are designated for one well from Viper and one from Kobra, in addition to two well slots intended for potential future wells in the area.

According to plan, the first contracts will be awarded in January 2015. The drilling of wells will likely start during the spring of 2016. Installation of templates and hook-up is scheduled for September the same year, whereas start-up of production is planned for year-end 2016 or early 2017.

The distribution of ownership interests corresponds to that of the Alvheim licence; Det norske (operator) 65 per cent, ConocoPhillips 20 per cent and Lundin holding a 15 per cent interest.

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