Statoil hands in Oseberg Vestflanken plan

This is how the developers envision the solution with an unmanned wellhead facility. The Oseberg field centre is in the background and the seabed facility on the Vestflanken can be seen on the right. Image: Statoil
This is how the developers envision the solution with an unmanned wellhead facility. The Oseberg field centre is in the background and the seabed facility on the Vestflanken can be seen on the right. Image: Statoil

Statoil and its partners submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) of the North Sea Oseberg Vestflanken 2, offshore Norway, to the authorities on Friday, December 18, 2015.

Statoil says that the development will provide in excess of 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the development cost is projected at NOK 8.2 billion ($934.2M). The reservoirs are located between 2400 and 3100 metres below the sea surface.

Statoil and its licence partners have decided to develop the Oseberg Vestflanken 2 covering the Alpha, Gamma and Kappa oil and gas structures. They are located around eight kilometres north-west of the Oseberg field centre.

According to Statoil, the Oseberg Vestflanken development will consist of an unmanned wellhead platform with 10 well slots. The wells will be remote-controlled from the Oseberg field centre. Two existing subsea wells will also be reused, said Statoil.

“Oseberg Vestflanken 2 meets the current cost challenges and higher efficiency requirements with an innovative concept based on simplification. This is a pioneering project on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) that the industry can learn from,” says Ivar Aasheim, senior vice president for field development on the NCS.

Wellhead platforms with no facilities, helicopter deck or lifeboats represent a new solution in Norway, Statoil says, but it has been thoroughly tested in other areas, such as the Danish and Dutch continental shelves.

“We emphasise that this new concept will continue the high security level we have on our installations on the NCS,” says Aasheim.

Statoil said it has focused on cutting investment costs throughout the project planning phase, and has now reduced total investment costs by around NOK 1 billion following the concept selection earlier this year. Maturing of the resource base, leading to higher volumes, has also helped realise the project, the Norwegian giant noted.

“The costs of subsea templates have tripled during the last 10 years. Platform wells on a steel jacket lead to considerable cost reductions and secure a robust project economy,” says senior vice president for the projects cluster in Statoil Torger Rød.

Gunnar Nakken, senior vice president for the operations west cluster in Statoil, says: “Oseberg Vestflanken 2 will add 110 million profitable barrels of oil equivalent, and will be an important contribution in reaching Statoil’s goal of maintaining the current production level until 2030 and beyond.”

The well stream will be routed to Oseberg field centre via a new pipeline. Production start is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.

Oseberg Vestflanken 2 is the first of three planned phases for developing the remaining reserves in the Oseberg area.

The licensees are: Statoil (operator) (49.3%), Petoro (33.6%), Total (14.7%) and ConocoPhillips (2.4%).

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