Eni Norge, a Norwegian subsidiary of the Italian oil company Eni, has received approval from the Norwegian authorities to use the Goliat FPSO and associated facilities on the Goliat field, in the Barents Sea, moving the field a step closer to production after months of delays.
The field, dubbed the world’s northernmost offshore development, was originally planned for first oil in 2013. However, it seems now that the production is imminent as the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has given the approval based on “documentation submitted in connection with the application, and explanations provided during the case processing.”
To remind, the country’s oil and gas industry safety watchdog in November carried out an inspection of the FPSO, and found several irregularities with the electrical systems, and the control of potential sources of ignition that could, in contact with gas or flammable liquids, lead to an explosion. Eni then called Statoil, a partner in the field, to lend a hand in fixing problems it’s been having with the platform’s electrical installations.
In a message to Offshore Energy Today in December, the PSA said: “Eni Norge has applied for the PSA’s consent to deploy Goliat FPSO, but the consent will not be granted until Eni is able to demonstrate that the company is ready for start-up. We are waiting for this documentation. We are aware that Eni is working flat out to fix all the faults and defects, to allow us to issue consent to start production.”
According to the PSA Norway’s statement issued on Wednesday, Eni has submitted documentation in which describes a number of activities remaining before the facility can be put into use and after production has started. The PSA also said that Statoil supports this description, and is planning a verification in order to assess whether Goliat is ready to begin production. The date of this verification depends on the progress in completing the facility and has therefore not been timetabled, the PSA said.
“We view it as important that the operator and the partner perform their planned activities as described in the letters, and that good employee participation is ensured, whereby comments from the employees are taken on board,” the Petroleum Safety Authority said.
In line with the documentation obtained, the PSA has granted the consent on the precondition that that the activities that Eni has described for both pre- and post-production start are completed;
that Statoil’s verifications are performed and followed up in the production licence, and that the PSA receives a final answer from Statoil as requested in a letter of 8 December 2015 before start-up.
“Eni shall provide the PSA with written confirmation that the facility is ready for start-up before it is put into use,” the PSA said.
The Goliat, located in the Barents Sea, 50 kilometers south-east of the Snøhvit field. Water depth in the area is 360-420 metres. It was proven in 2000, and the field development plan was submitted in 2009. The Goliat is the first oil field to be developed in the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea. It is being developed with a cylindrical floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit that arrived at the Goliat field location on May 7, 2015.
The field is estimated to hold about 174 million barrels of oil. The cost of the development had originally been set at $5.06 billion, but the figure has now surpassed the $6 billion mark.
Offshore Energy Today Staff