License swaps could trigger drilling of Arkenstone, Mistral prospects offshore Norway

Oct. 26, 2022
OKEA expects to complete two Norwegian offshore license transactions with Equinor by the end of this year, the company revealed in its latest results statement.

Offshore staff

TRONDHEIM, Norway  OKEA expects to complete two Norwegian offshore license transactions with Equinor by the end of this year, the company revealed in its latest results statement.

Under the proposal, OKEA would take a 20% stake in the Equinor-operated PL1014 exploration license, containing the Arkenstone prospect, in exchange for 10% of the OKEA-operated PL1119 license, which includes the Mistral prospect.

For the PL1119, OKEA has also applied to transfer operatorship to Equinor. Decisions should follow shortly on drilling exploration wells in both licenses.

In the North Sea, OKEA expects drilling to begin next month on the Neptune Energy-operated Calypso exploration prospect in PL938.

Neptune Energy and its partners are looking to take final investment decision (FID) by year-end on a potential development of Gjøa Nord, including the recent Hamlet discovery, via multiple production wells tied back to existing infrastructure connected to the Gjøa semisubmersible platform. The targeted production start is in 2025.

At the Repsol Norge-operated Yme Field in the eastern Norwegian North Sea, production is now heading to the subsea storage tank, and the tank and offloading system are functioning as planned, with the mobile offshore drilling and production platform Inspirer producing from five wells.

However, overall production performance at Yme has been below expectations with low plant availability throughout the year, and recompletion of production wells has taken longer than anticipated. In addition, leakage in the topsides piping system caused a shutdown for about six weeks during the third quarter, and water cut from the producing wells has been higher than expected.

The Valaris Viking should start drilling shortly for Beta North, a subsea tieback to Yme that includes two new production wells and one injector. The program had to be postponed due to delay caused by the recompletions, but it should now finish in second-quarter 2023.

Reduced oil production from Yme, resulting from early water breakthrough and lower plant availability, should be partly compensated by production from the new wells. There may be scope in the future for further infill drilling.

At the OKEA-operated Draugen Field in the Norwegian Sea, production dipped during the third quarter, mainly due to planned activities for scale squeeze of subsea wells and a wireline logging campaign on the platform wells. The latter confirmed good barrier condition for life extension of gas-lifted platform wells.

A forthcoming three-day safety stop (i.e., ESD test) and scale squeeze of platform wells will likely impact production further in the short term.

COSLPromoter recently drilled the well for the Hasselmus tieback, and this should enter production late next year. Associated topside prefabrication and installation has started at Draugen, and pre-lay rock installation for the subsea infrastructure has been completed.

OKEA continues to mature work on a power-from-shore connection to the Draugen production platform, with an extension of power supply to the nearby Njord Field operated by Equinor. FID and submission of a plan for development and operations should follow soon, with FEED studies completed for onshore, cable and topside facilities.

However, the Norwegian government now proposes to reduce the uplift for the temporary tax for petroleum operations regime from 17.69% to 12.4% with effect from Jan. 1, 2023. If approved by the Norwegian parliament, this could adversely impact the project’s financial parameters, OKEA warned.

The power-from-shore project should cut annual CO2 emissions from Draugen alone by more than 90%, about 200,000 metric tons.

Finally, the company is reviewing new seismic data over its Aurora discovery and the Selene prospect. Improved interpretation and mapping of the reservoirs has boosted confidence in the modeled volume estimates and could lead the partners to drill an appraisal well next year to ascertain the commerciality of the two fields for a tie-in development to Gjøa.