Visund North production kicks off on schedule

Published:  27 January, 2014

Statoil has started production from the Visund North oil and gas field in the North Sea.

Visund North is the sixth project that has started production of the 12 ‘fast track’ projects Statoil has in its portfolio. Statoil Visund North field development head, Hogne Pedersen, commented that completion of the first production well as well as a production shutdown at the Visund A platform gave Statoil some challenges, but in spite of this it is starting production only 3-4 weeks after the scheduled start-up established two years ago. This is also taking place within the investment frame and without serious HSE incidents.

The Visund North and Visund South field developments have to a large extent shared the same project organisation. This has enabled efficient implementation of experiences from Visund South, which was the first development in Statoil’s fast track portfolio.

In addition Pedersen emphasises the good cooperation within the Visund licence with the authorities. This has enabled efficient and timely decision processes and allowed the project to meet the ambitious development objectives. The total recoverable reserves are estimated at 29 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and the total investment for the field development is NOK 3.3 billion. Visund North has been developed by a standard, four-well subsea template. The oil is transported in a new pipeline to the Visund A platform for processing via a pipeline manifold and a new subsea safety integrity valve under the platform.

Full cooperation

Ørjan Heradstveit, media relations, Norwegian Continental shelf, Statoil, told Upstream Design & Engineering Europe that this was a major product whereby Statoil relied on the full cooperation and support of a number of key technology vendors, including those supplying everything from subsea production equipment to the installation of the production flowline.

Heradstveit, also spoke about Statoil’s fast track strategy: “Our fast track methodology can reduce the time it takes to develop a new Norwegian shelf field projects substantially; sometimes by as much as half. This faster approach means that our smaller fields in particular can be made more profitable through faster development. Indeed, fast track can reduce standard periods of development for less complicated fields from around five years to two and a half. Approximately half of the oil and gas in the Norwegian shelf remains under the seabed. Nevertheless, in the areas where companies such as Statoil have access, large independent discoveries are becoming less frequent. Our fast track methodology therefore ensures that when oil is discovered we can leverage maximum advantage more quickly.”

Anne Fausa, Statoil facility project manager, remarked: “We managed the challenges we met in the installation phase through the excellent cooperation with our suppliers and the Statoil project team.” Tom Karsten Gustavsen, Statoil vice president for Kvitebjørn, Visund and Grane, said: “Production from Visund North is a significant part of the production from the Visund field and contributes to the extension of the economic lifetime of the Visund A platform. In addition new resources in the northern Visund area has been proved with the Rhea discovery in January 2013 which was drilled by an exploration pilot from one of the Visund North wells.”

The five fast track field developments in production in addition to Visund North are Skuld, Stjerne, Vigdis North-east, Hyme and Visund South. Halfdan Knudsen, vice president for Statoil’s fast track portfolio, commented: “Visund North is a good representation of the integration of the different areas within Statoil’s fast track strategy. Through the different phases of the field development the profitability has been strengthened, improvements implemented and the cooperation developed and improved.”

The seven remaining developments in the fast track portfolio are Vilje South, Fram H-North, Svalin C, Gullfaks South oil, Oseberg Delta 2 and Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen. These 12 fast track field developments are scheduled to produce 200,000 boe per day within the end of 2014, whereof Statoil’s share is 100,000 boe per day.

In terms of key vendors, in June 2011 FMC Technologies signed an agreement with Statoil for the manufacture and supply of subsea production equipment to support the Visund Nord offshore development. The contract was value at approximately $50 million in revenue to FMC Technologies. Another vendor, Technip, was awarded two subsea contracts by Statoil in January 2012, worth a total of around €55 million, for the Visund North development and the Vilje South field, also in the North Sea. These contracts covered: welding and installation of a 10 kilometer production flowline; subsea equipment installation and tie-ins; and umbilical installation and tie-ins.

Visund North Overview

The Visund oil and gas field covers blocks 34/8 and 34/7 and is operated by Statoil.

The field is located 22 km north-east of Gullfaks in the Tampen area. The Visund field started production in spring 1999.

Visund North is a separate subsea development 10 km from the Visund A platform and is a part of the original plan for development and operations (PDO) for the Visund field.

The field development is carried out by a standard subsea template with two wells which is tied back to the Visund A platform by a new pipeline system.

Expected recoverable reserves are 29 million barrels of oil equivalent

Total investments are estimated to NOK 3.3 billion.

Licence partners PL120 (inside): Statoil (53.2%), Petoro (30.0%), Total (7.7%) and ConocoPhillips (9.1%).

Licence partners PL120 (outside): Statoil (59.06%), Petoro (16.94%), Total (11.0%) and ConocoPhillips (13.0%).

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