Lundin scales back offshore Norway exploratory drilling

April 30, 2020
Lundin Energy has cut its planned exploration drilling program offshore Norway this year from nine to five wells, with the other four wells deferred to later years.

Offshore staff

STOCKHOLM, SwedenLundin Energy has cut its planned exploration drilling program offshore Norway this year from nine to five wells, with the other four wells deferred to later years.

The company now anticipates full-year exploration and appraisal expenditure of $225 million.

Earlier in 2020, the company participated in MOL’s Evra/Iving discovery wells. Lundin will operate the three remaining exploratory wells on the line-up, all to be drilled by the semisubmersible West Bollsta in 4Q.

Preparations continue for decommissioning of the company’s Brynhild field in the North Sea, with the jackup Rowan Viking starting abandonment of the four subsea wells during the current quarter. Removal of the subsea facilities should follow in 2021 and 2022.

At Lundin’s Edvard Grieg complex in the North Sea, the company has down-manned offshore personnel to a minimum and has deferred a planned maintenance shutdown until 2020, as a safeguard against COVID-19.

In addition, a three-well infill drilling program at Edvard Grieg has been postponed by around one year to 2Q 2021, with a six-month suspension agreed for the Rowan Viking which was contracted for the campaign.

Acquisition is under way of a repeat 4D seismic survey over the field, in order to optimize the infill well program. Also going ahead is the Edvard Grieg electrification project, which involves retirement of the platform’s existing gas turbine power generation system, installation of electric boilers to provide process heat, and installation of a power cable from Johan Sverdrup to Edvard Grieg - the latter is set to be operational in late 2022.

Topsides modifications began last May on the platform to handle production from the Solveig Phase 1 subsea tieback (currently over 30% complete) and the basement Rolvsnes extended well test (EWT).

First oil from Solveig has been deferred to 3Q 2021, and to 2Q 2022 from the Rolvsnes EWT.

At other major North Sea field centers where Lundin is a partner, drilling started last month on the first of two planned infill wells on the Alvheim field. The well should come onstream this summer, followed by the second well in early 2021.

The infill well program has been accelerated due to drilling rig slot cancelations for other operations. However, to limit the coronavirus risk offshore personnel have been down-manned, leading to postponements of planned upgrade projects and the maintenance shutdown, which will now take place in 2021.

At Johan Sverdrup Phase 1 the tenth well started producing in April, with five further development wells on the line-up for 2020.

Phase 2 capex remains unchanged from the figure of NOK41 billion ($3.98 billion) in the plan for development and operation. Construction is proceeding on the second processing platform topsides and jacket, the new modules to be installed on the Phase 1 riser platform, and the subsea facilities.

As of March 2020, the project was over 30% complete. Since then, however, the coronavirus situation has set back progress levels, although the target remains first oil in 4Q 2022.