At 07.25 on 7 April, Statoil and its partners (GDF SUEZ and OMV) started production on the Gudrun oil and gas field in the North Sea.
“Gudrun is the first new Statoil-operated platform to come on stream on the Norwegian continental shelf since 2005. This is a red-letter day for the company,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, Statoil’s executive vice president for the Development and Production Norway business area.
The new field contributes to important production from the Norwegian shelf. Statoil expects to recover 184 million barrels of oil and gas (oil equivalent) from the field.
“Gudrun illustrates how we can maximise value creation and realise new projects on the Norwegian shelf by combining new field developments with existing pipelines and facilities,” says Nylund.
Around 16.5 million man hours have gone into the Gudrun field development, and a significant number of suppliers from many different countries have contributed to this effort.
The Gudrun investment decision was made during the financial crisis. When the plan for development and operation (PDO) was submitted in 2010, Gudrun was Statoil’s only mega-project (investments in excess of NOK 12 billion). Now Gudrun is the first in a long line of field developments operated by Statoil:
“We have delivered the Gudrun field on time and below the cost estimate in the PDO. Choosing a global strategy for Gudrun has contributed to reducing the costs,” says Margareth Øvrum, head of the Technology, Projects and Drilling business area in Statoil.
Worth the wait
Gudrun was discovered in 1975. This is a high temperature-high pressure field, and the need for new drilling technology was one of the reasons why these reserves were left in the bank for such a long time. NowStatoil also has available capacity in existing facilities and pipelines.
Oil and gas from Gudrun is sent to Sleipner, where it will be processed before the oil is sent on to Kårstø and the gas to Europe, all through existing pipelines tied in to Sleipner. This allows Statoil to benefit from previous investments made on the Norwegian shelf, Nylund explains:
“The Gudrun concept is a win-win situation. By using existing infrastructure, the Gudrun development costs less and Sleipner gains an extra customer. Gudrun’s start-up came at the perfect time.”
Modifications have also been carried out on Sleipner and at Kårstø as part of the Gudrun project.
First in a row
Gudrun will be operated from Statoil’s offices at Vestre Svanholmen in Sandnes, and is the first new field Statoil operates from the Stavanger region since Sleipner in 1993.
“It’s good to see a new field joining the old giants – Statfjord, Snorre and Sleipner. Later on, Gina Krog will also come to Operations South. This field will also be tied in to Sleipner – yet another win-win situation,” says Nylund.
Gudrun is an oil and gas field in the middle of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea (production licence PL025). The field is located about 55 kilometres north of the Sleipner installations.
The licensees in PL025 are Statoil (operator – 51%), GDF SUEZ E&P Norge (25%) and OMV Norge A/S (24%).
Gudrun has a process facility for partial stabilisation of oil and gas. Oil and gas are transported on to the Sleipner A platform. The oil is routed on to Kårstø, while the gas goes to European markets through the gas pipelines tied in to Sleipner.
The jacket was built at Kværner Verdal, the living quarters by Apply Leirvik at Stord. Aibel was awarded the contract for constructing the deck, and built two of the modules in Thailand and one in Poland and Haugesund, where the deck was also assembled. The helicopter deck came from China and equipment packages comes from several countries.
112 kilometres of pipeline have been laid as well as a 55-km power cable on the seabed between Gudrun and Sleipner.
430,000 metres of cable have been laid, 2,855 valves have been installed on the topsides and the living quarters has 42 cabins.
The reservoir is located at a depth of 4,200-4,700 metres, and originates from the Jurassic Age. The pressure in the reservoir is about 860 bar and the temperature approaches 150 degrees.
The platform will produce from seven production wells, including Gudrun Øst, a discovery made after the plan for development and operation of the Gudrun field was submitted.