Norsk Hydro and its partners in the Njord license submitted a plan for development and operation (PDO) to export gas export from the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea.
Hydro plans to install a gas-drying unit in the process plant before gas export starts on Oct 1, 2007. The project also requires a new pipeline between the platform and Åsgard Transport on Halten Bank. Gas will move via the Åsgard Transport pipeline to the Kårstø gas processing plant, then to export to European markets.
The Hydro-operated field will see upgrades totaling NKr1.6 billion, of which the PDO investment makes up NKr1.15 billion.
If the plan is approved, the oil-producing field will become a gas exporter at the same time that new production wells ensure sustained oil production for as long as possible. The annual gas volume will be around 2.2 bcm.
"Njord has been an important oil producer for Hydro since September 1997. Gas export will bring the field into a new phase. The plan is to invest in equipment for gas export and drill more production wells to keep up oil production once the pressure in the reservoir falls," says field manager Erik Abrahamsen.
"The drilling program will start in December," Abrahamsen says. "We hope this will increase the field's reserves."
Hydro also plans to try out new technology – narrow hole drilling through production tubing – in this drilling campaign. Narrow hole drilling reduces drilling costs, which means that the partners can drill more production wells and achieve more efficient recovery from the reservoir. Hydro hopes to increase the rate of recovery 20-30%.
Norsk Hydro operates the Njord field with 20% interest. Partners include Gaz de France with 20%, ExxonMobil with 20%, E.ON Ruhrgas with 15%, Paladin with 15%, Petoro with 7.5%, and OER with 2.5%.