Norway: Skarv Start-Up Put Off for 1Q 2012

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Oil major BP said it had delayed the start-up of production from its Skarv oil and gas field off Norway until late in the first quarter of 2012, scrapping a previous timetable for late in the fourth quarter of this year.

Originally the field had been due to enter production in August.

“The slippage is due to delays in receiving the vessel, problems with the riser pull-in (process) and the weather conditions,” BP spokesman Jan Erik Geirmo told Reuters on Wednesday.

BP is the operator of the field and has a stake of 24 percent, while the other licensees include Statoil (36 percent), PGNiG of Poland (12 percent) and Germany’s E.ON Rurhgas (28 percent).

On Tuesday PGNiG cut its forecast for next year’s production from Skarv by 40 percent to 0.24 billion cubic metres and said the field’s launch would be delayed until 2012.

Poland’s gas monopoly also slashed expected oil production from the field to 250,000 tonnes in 2012.

Geirmo declined to say how the delayed start-up would affect production estimates.

Shares in Statoil were down 1.79 percent at 137.2 crowns at 1126 GMT, while the Oslo benchmark index was up 0.54 percent.

Carnegie analyst John Olaisen said the fall was due to the delay at the Skarv field, adding that he thought it would shave 2 percent off Statoil’s planned 2012 output.

Statoil declined to comment on how the delay at Skarv would impact production targets for this year and the next.

“We will present our numbers … with our third-quarter results next Thursday (Oct. 27),” said Statoil spokesman Ola Anders Skauby.

In June Statoil said that a delay in Skarv’s start-up, then pushed back to the fourth quarter of 2011, would reduce 2011 output by some 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

The Norwegian firm so far expects its 2011 production to be slightly under 2010′s 1.9 million boepd.

The company has a history of missing its production forecasts.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate the Skarv field contains 104 million barrels of oil and 42.1 billion cubic metres of gas.

By Walter Gibbs and Joachim Dagenborg (Reuters)

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Posted on October 19, 2011, in Norway, Poland and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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