The most profitable approach to future development of the Tampen area in the Norwegian North Sea will be debottlenecking – upgrading and improving efficiency on the existing installations. Statoil, operator for the whole region, drew this conclusion in recommendations submitted to the licensees in the Tampen fields.
Debottlenecking is also seen as the best solution for Statfjord, the oldest producer in the area, in meeting the goal of optimum resource recovery.
The Statoil studies cover concepts including a new Tampen platform to handle processing and exports for the fields, and the leasing of capacity on Britain's Brent field.
The report concludes that an additional 360 MMbbl of oil could be recovered from Statfjord by improving operational efficiency and removing bottlenecks. It also finds that boosting gas and water injections in all the fields other than Statfjord could improve recovery of Tampen's remaining resources by more than 10%. That would represent an increase from about 2.5 Bbbl of oil to almost 2.8 Bbbl.
Gas exports from the Statfjord late life project are expected to start on Oct. 1, 2007, but how these volumes will be transported remains to be clarified. The solution calls for a reduction of just over 25% in carbon dioxide emissions from the field and more than 35% for nitrogen oxide emissions.
Statoil also recommends that produced water be cleaned with technology such as CTour to achieve the target of zero harmful discharges to the sea.
The area studies have shown that the extra value creation Statoil indicated earlier is feasible, and a number of specific measures have been identified to help achieve this target. Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway, says the Statfjord late life project is a commercially marginal and time-critical development, which has yet to be sanctioned. The challenge ahead will be to continue optimizing the project until the point at which a final decision is taken in the autumn of 2004. During the autumn, the Statfjord partnership is due to decide on the Statoil proposals. The licensees in all the other Tampen fields will also consider the area-wide solutions in the report during the same period.
This region of the northern North Sea embraces Gullfaks, Snorre, and Visund, as well as Statfjord in addition to a number of subsea developments tied back to the main fields.
With its first installation coming onstream in 1979, Tampen contains nine platforms, 300 platform wells, and 130 subsea wells. The area has 12 licensees including Statoil.
NKr300 billion has already been invested in this part of the Norwegian continental shelf, yielding total revenues of NKr1700 billion.
Tampen produces 1 MMb/d of oil, and 2,500 people are employed on its fields.