Norway’s Statoil AS has started work on detailed planning to set up a separate operational area on the northern Norwegian Continental Shelf, which will be based in Harstad with the new area office’s start-up expected during the first half of 2013.
The move stems from a considerable increase in activities taking place off the three northernmost counties in Norway, Statoil said, adding that the company has contemplated establishing such an operational area since 2007.
“We are now seeing that level of activity,” to justify the decision, said Helge Lund, Statoil chief executive officer.
Lund expects increasing activities in northern Norway, owing to increasing exploration in the Barents Sea and anticipated increasing activity in areas of the northeastern Norwegian Sea.
The new operational area will be responsible for Norne and Snohvit fields, which both are already in operation, as well as for Aasta Hansteen field, for which a decision is expected later this year. Eventually, the Skrugard and Havis discoveries are expected to report to the new operational area, Statoil said.
A Statoil-led group made a second giant oil and gas discovery in the Barents Sea off Norway at Havis, close to the group’s early 2011 Skrugard discovery on the same license.
Statoil sees 400-600 million bbl of oil equivalent recoverable from the two discoveries, including 200-300 million boe from Havis (OGJ Online, Jan. 5, 2012).