Statoil is stepping up its Arctic activities and will drill nine wells during a non-stop 2013 Norwegian Barents exploration campaign. The company plans to meet development challenges here by tripling its Arctic technology research budget.
Statoil’s exploration experience in the Barents is already extensive. Of the 94 exploration wells drilled in the Norwegian Barents Sea so far, Statoil has been involved in 89. Nine more Statoil-operated wells are on their way here next year.
“After our Skrugard and Havis discoveries we still see attractive opportunities here,” says Statoil Exploration executive vice president Tim Dodson.
“This is a less challenging area, as the Norwegian Barents is one of the only Arctic areas with a year-round ice-free zone. We also see the possibility of utilising knowledge gained here for Arctic prospects elsewhere later on – just like we’ve already done with Snøhvit.”
Statoil will start drilling in Nunatak in the Skrugard area in December, and will drill and complete four wells in this area over a six-month period.
“These wells are time critical, as any additional resources will make the Skrugard development even more robust,” says Dodson.
The campaign will then continue with the drilling of two-three wells in the Hoop frontier exploration area further north in the Barents in the summer of 2013. These will be the northernmost wells ever drilled in Norway.
The 2013 Barents drilling campaign finishes in the most mature province of the Barents: the Hammerfest basin. Statoil will carry out growth exploration close to the existing Snøhvit and Goliat discoveries here.
Arctic drilling unit
In addition to increasing its drilling activities, Statoil has created a technology road map to prepare for activities in even harsher Arctic areas.
- A tripling of the current Arctic research budget – from NOK 80 million (in 2012) to NOK 250 million (in 2013)
- A research cruise to north east Greenland in September
- The maturing of an Arctic drill unit concept
Some of the technology highlights include work to allow for cost-effective 3D seismic for exploration prospect evaluation in ice, and the continuing development of a tailor-made, Arctic drill unit.
The work on the future drilling unit is based on Statoil’s experience with developing specialised category rigs for the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
The unit will be one that can operate in a wide range of water depths across the Arctic, and will involve integrated operations in drifting ice.
Functions here are to include a management system to reduce ice impact, an optimised drilling package for faster drilling and increased rig availability, and solutions to ensure that the rig maintains its position. At present no robust solution for dynamic positioning dedicated for ice operation exists.
“When we see a technology need, we try to fill the gap ourselves. We have now directed our strategic focus towards developing technology for exploration and production in ice. A new dedicated unit has been established to solve these challenges,” says Statoil Technology, Projects and Drilling executive vice president Margareth Øvrum.
Capacity is key
“We’ve secured a five-year contract for Seadrill‘s West Hercules drilling rig. The rig is currently being prepared for Arctic conditions, and can be used to drill consecutively in the region for years to come,” Dodson says.
Broad exploration experience in the Barents Sea and available rig capacity make Statoil well prepared for the 22nd licence round on the NCS. Applications are due in early December, while the awarding of new licences will take place in spring 2013. Seventy-two blocks in the Barents will be on offer.
“The Skrugard discovery has reignited interest in the Barents. A number of major companies that had left the area will be looking to make their way back in. The competition will be fierce, but we’ve built up a strong track record here, and our application will reflect this,” Dodson says.
- Chinese icebreaker continues Arctic voyage (shippingtribune.com)
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On Tuesday 27 March the load-out commenced. This weekend, the heavy lift vessel Happy Dragon will sail away with her giant load.
”This is probably the largest single subsea delivery we have made from Egersund. I’m proud of my colleagues, and satisfied on behalf of our customer Eni Norge AS, that we are delivering this on schedule and on budget,” says Svein Oskar Nuland, head of Aker Solutions’ yard in Egersund, Norway.
“Our project team at Fornebu and here in Egersund has worked tirelessly to complete this important milestone”.
The delivery of the subsea manifolds and riser bases is the yard’s second hardware load-out for the Goliat subsea project. The first, consisting of eight subsea templates, was also delivered on schedule when it sailed out of Egersund at the end of March last year.
Aker Solutions’ Goliat contract, signed in September 2009, comprises of engineering, procurement and construction of a complete subsea production system. Subsea hardware deliveries include eight overtrawlable four-slot subsea templates with manifolds, wellheads system, 24 subsea trees, subsea and topside controls systems, 20 kilometres of steel tube umbilicals, work-over equipment and a tie-in and connection system.
- Shell Orders Subsea Connection Systems from Aker Solutions (Norway) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Delivers Subsea Templates for Skuld Fast-Track Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Statoil Orders Subsea Structures for Asgard (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Secures Draupne FEED Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: NPD Supports Statoil’s New Rig Concept for Subsea Wells (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: North Sea Giant Stays with Technip (mb50.wordpress.com)
- STX OSV Adds to their Backlog, DOF ASA Sends Newbuild Order for Subsea Construction Vessel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Swire Acquires Norway’s Subsea Specialist (mb50.wordpress.com)
The Norwegian Government has decided that the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will map the geology in the northeastern part of Norway’s new sea area in the Barents Sea. According to the plan, the seismic surveys will start this summer and continue into 2013. This will provide important knowledge regarding possible oil and gas resources in this area.
“We have very little knowledge concerning the geology in the northeastern Barents Sea. In order to know more about the resource potential, we need more data,” says Sissel Eriksen, exploration director in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
On the Norwegian side, the Government has started an opening process with the aim of awarding production licenses in the southeastern sector of the Barents Sea. The geological mapping started last summer and will continue until this summer.
Earlier this year, the NPD entered into contracts regarding two vessels that will acquire seismic data both in the southeastern sector of the Barents Sea, in the sea area around Jan Mayen and in Nordland IV and V this summer.
“The plans to also map the northeastern sector of the Barents Sea mean that we need more capacity to acquire seismic. This assignment has been submitted for tender,” says Eriksen.
- Norway to start seismic surveys in the Barents Sea; “High North” strategy (greencarcongress.com)
- Norway Eyes Barents Sea Oil With Great Interest, Geoseismic Survey Planned (gcaptain.com)
- Major Oil And Gas Finds In northern Europe (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Rosneft ‘door closed’ in Barents (mb50.wordpress.com)
- “arctic oil” Norway mobilises for oil push into Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)
Steve Marshall & News reports 28 November 2011 09:19 GMT
Rosneft has had its applications for three licences covering the Severny, Papaninsky and Mezhdusharsky Vostochny structures rejected by Russia’s mineral extraction agency Rosnedra after objections were raised by the Ministry of Defence, a Rosnedra source, quoted in Russian media, was reported as saying by the Barents Observer.
The three tracts, located south-west of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, are prospective for oil and gas, with Severny reported to hold 26.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, while Mezhdusharsky and Papaninsky are believed to contain 2 billion boe and 559 million boe respectively.
Rosneft also had its bid to explore the Severo-Barentsevoye field turned down due to ongoing state mapping of the area.
Conflicting interests among Russian state bodies have historically stalled decisions on exploration and development of Barents acreage, with fields discovered in the 1970s still undeveloped.
The Russian military sees the Barents as a strategically important area because it provides ice-free access to the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. The might Northern Fleet, based on the Kola Peninsula, has its bases on the Barents coast.
- Russia: Rosneft Gets Clearance to Buy More Offshore Assets in the Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)
- “arctic oil” Norway mobilises for oil push into Arctic (mb50.wordpress.com)