StatoilHydro improves Gullfaks oil recovery factor

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, July 7 -- StatoilHydro produced an extra 60 million bbl of oil from Gullfaks field in the Norwegian North Sea as it has improved the recovery factor to more than 60%.

Reidar Helland, head of petroleum technology at StatoilHydro, said during a presentation at the World Petroleum Congress that 4D seismic surveys are a key mechanism to locating hidden barrels of oil that equate to more than a year's production from the field.

However, StatoilHydro wants to improve the rate of recovery at Gullfaks to 70% and sustain production to 2030, which Helland described as a "challenging ambition."

The company has drilled 17 wells on Gullfaks based on 4D seismic data—wells that would not have been drilled without this technology. "Oil has been struck in all of the wells. In other words, an excellent accuracy. This experience clearly shows the importance of employing new technology," Helland said.

The company has used super injectors, water alternating gas injection, increased topside processing capacity, and sophisticated well paths to increase production.

"Building reservoir simulation models is highly resource-demanding. Using 4D seismic technology we get a more precise model, which provides a better basis for the search for oil," Helland said.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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