Statoil: Norway’s North to benefit from Johan Castberg. FID by the end of 2017

Norwegian oil company Statoil has presented a case according to which its Johan Castberg field development in the Barents Sea will have benefits for North Norway.

In a statement on Monday, Statoil said the overall operational support to Johan Castberg “will have considerable spinoffs in North Norway.”

The company has decided that the Johan Castberg operation will be supported by a supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest and an operations organization in Harstad. Statoil also said it would prioritize recruitment of offshore personnel from Finnmark county.

Expected to come on stream in 2022, the field will be operating for 30 years.

“We will invest around NOK 1.15 billion per year in operation of the field, amounting to around 1700 man-years nationally, of which around 500 will be performed in North Norway. These are both the direct and indirect spinoffs,” Statoil says.

Johan Castberg is one of the largest projects in Statoil’s portfolio yet to be developed. It will be an important contribution in further developing the northern petroleum activity, the company added.

FID by the end of 2017. 100 offshore jobs

A final investment decision regarding Johan Castberg is to be made towards the end of 2017.

“This has been a comprehensive process. We have studied several alternatives, and decided that Hammerfest and Harstad separately will be the best industrial solution for Johan Castberg,” says Knut Gjertsen, project director for Johan Castberg.

The Hammerfest supply base will have an employment effect of around 30-45 man-years, and the helicopter base around 12-15 man-years. Hammerfest has already established bases and has long experience from such services, providing the most qualified and cost-effective solution.

Supporting the offshore organisation and further developing the field during production, the Harstad operations organisation is expected to have an employment effect of 40-45 man-years. Statoil has developed a strong specialist environment in the city based on 40 years of experience from operation in the north.

Competence level upgrade

“To ensure a long-term development of petroleum-related specialist jobs in Finnmark, Statoil will, in collaboration with other operating companies, suppliers and local authorities before the plan for development and operation is submitted to the authorities, look at possible initiatives to upgrade the general petroleum competence level in Hammerfest and Finnmark. In the longer term this will lead to more local recruitment to the industry, and Finnmark may strengthen its position in the technology-driven development of the Barents Sea,” says Siri Espedal Kindem, senior vice president for the operations north cluster in Statoil.

Offshore, Statoil will need a staff of 90-100 people distributed on three shifts.

“We will seek to recruit as many as possible from Finnmark to the offshore organisation. We have therefore contacted the county administration and schools to launch an initiative to ensure good recruitment to the studies that will meet our offshore competence requirements,” says Kindem.

Johan Castberg development costs have been calculated at close to NOK 50 billion. The national employment during the development phase has been estimated at almost 47,000 man-years, of which close to 1800 will be in North Norway.

“Statoil, together with the other operators of oil fields in the Barents Sea, are investigating the possibilities to find possible economic solutions for an oil terminal at Veidnes,” the company said.

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