Statoil said the Norwegian Continental Shelf, where it made the world’s largest 2011 oil discovery at Aldous, will remain the company’s backbone for years.
In what it termed a “unique year,” Statoil also discovered Skrugard, a substantial oil discovery with a gas cap, in the Barents Sea as a “potential door-opener” for a new oil province. Statoil spudded an exploratory well on the Havis structure southwest of Skrugard in December 2011 and will drill a Skrugard appraisal well shortly.
The company made seven investment decisions in 2011 and will maintain its current production level by adding 600,000 to 700,000 b/d of new output until 2020, said Oystein Michelsen, executive vice-president for development and production Norway. Several fields will come on production by early 2013.
In the North Sea, Aldous and Avaldsnes fields will most likely be developed as a regional hub on the Utsira high (OGJ Online, July 19, 2011).
Considerable investment has been made in improved oil recovery, such as the Asgard subsea gas compression project. Two new compressors on the Troll A platform boost production from Troll field. Construction and installation at Gudrun and Valemon, two of the company’s large development projects, took place in 2011.
The company on Jan. 5 said its Skinfaks South well in 135 m of water in Block 33/12 has become its fourth discovery near infrastructure in the Gullfaks field area in 10 months. TD is 3,722 m below sea level. Skinfaks South interests are Statoil 70% and Petoro AS 30%.
The well indicated 1.9 million to 6.9 million boe of recoverable light oil in an 80-m column in the Middle Jurassic Brent Group. The 2011 Rutil, Opal, Brent 10 A/B, and Skinfaks South discoveries will add a combined 50-100 million boe.
Gullfaks South, Rimfaks, and Valemon have added 1 billion boe to the 2.5 billion boe of reserves estimated for the initial 1978 Gullfaks discovery.
Statoil praised the award of new production licenses in 2011. Between maximizing recovery from existing fields and exploring new acreage, 2012 should be as exciting a year as 2011, Michelsen said. Statoil will operator or participate in 20-25 exploratory-appraisal wells, including at least three in the Norwegian Sea.
In 2012, 40% of Statoil’s exploratory wells on the NCS will be infrastructure-led exploratory wells. ILX drilling is to be carried out near Oseberg, Snorre, and Norne fields.