Offshore Europe

Eni Norge's cylindrical FPSO for the Goliat field in the Barents Sea reached Hammerfest in April after a 60-day voyage from the Hyundai shipyard in South Korea.

JeremybJeremy Beckman • London

Goliat platform towed to Barents Sea site

Eni Norge's cylindrical FPSO for the Goliat field in the Barents Sea reached Hammerfest in April after a 60-day voyage from the Hyundai shipyard in South Korea. Last month, the 170-m (558-ft) tall structure was towed 80 km (49.7 mi) from a fjord at Ersvika, where it underwent final checks and preparations to the living quarters, to the field location. There, it was due to be connected to its 14 anchor lines, the pre-installed risers and umbilicals, and the undersea cable that will supply electrical power directly from the mainland.

Goliat cylindrical FPSO arriving in Norway onboard the Dockwise Vanguard. (Photo courtesy Eni Norge)

This is the world's largest and most advanced cylindrical oil production platform, Eni Norge claims, fully winterized and designed to withstand icing hazards and 100-year Barents Sea storm conditions. It also features safety-related technologies that should allow the crew to deal with any emergency response situations, the company adds. Once operations have started, the platform will be manned by a crew of around 40, but overall operations will be managed directly from Eni's control center in Hammerfest.

Eni has joined four other experienced operators in the Barents Sea - GDF Suez, Lundin Norway, OMV, and Statoil - to form the Barents Sea Exploration Collaboration (BaSEC). This three-year project will investigate methods of collaboration with each other and various authorities to make exploration in the Barents Sea more cost-effective, with a special focus on new areas in the southeast of the Norwegian sector opened earlier this year by the government. The quintet also plans to establish working groups addressing issues such as logistics, mobile drilling units, and oil spill response. More participants could be admitted following awards from Norway's 23rd licensing round.

NPD raises cost estimate for Johan Sverdrup

The Norwegian government has submitted proposals for the first-phase plan for development and operation (PDO) of the Johan Sverdrup field in the central Norwegian North Sea, incorporating an updated economic analysis by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). This will be Norway's largest offshore development since Hydro submitted its PDO for Oseberg in the North Sea in 1984: Operator Statoil estimates first-phase investments at over $15 billion, although the NPD's own calculations suggest a figure around $1.3 billion higher, due to the fact that the start of production looks likely to be put back six months to December 2019.

Once onstream, operations could continue for around 50 years, with 352 MMcm of oil set to be produced - a recovery rate of 63% - along with over 13 bcm of gas.

Wintershall issues PDO for Maria

German company Wintershall has submitted a PDO for its first operated greenfield development on the Norwegian shelf. As expected, it plans to develop the 180-MMboe field in the Norwegian Sea with subsea facilities linked via pipe/flowlines to three Statoil-operated platforms in the area. Maria's wellstream will head to theKristin semisubmersible for processing, while water for injection purposes will come from the Heidrun platform, with lift gas imported from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans D field subsea template. Processed oil will be shipped to the Åsgard complex for offloading to shuttle tankers and gas will be exported via a connection to the Åsgard pipeline transport system to Kåarstø in western Norway.

Subsea 7 will install the pipelines and the subsea structures, assigned to FMC Kongsberg Subsea. Statoil has contracted Aibel to upgrade the water injection system at the Heidrun platform to accommodate the tie-in.

Odfjell rig starts campaign west of Shetland

Odfjell Drilling's newbuild dual-derrick, harsh environment semisubmersibleDeepsea Aberdeen started a seven-year campaign in April west of Shetland for operator BP. Initially the rig is drilling one injector and two producer wells on the Loyal field before moving onto its main task of drilling new wells across the Schiehallion field as part of the Quad204 re-development. BP expects five wells to be in place prior to first oil flowing through the newGlen LyonFPSO on Schiehallion at the end of 2016.

Total expects to bring onstream its subsea beach Laggan-Tormore gas development in the same region toward the end of this year. Petrofac, the contractor responsible for construction of a new plant that will receive the gas on the main Shetland Island, expects to complete the work some time this summer. Progress has been delayed by bad weather and industrial action on Shetland and lower-than-anticipated productivity.

HP/HT breakthrough for Maersk

Maersk Oil has discovered a new high-pressure/high-temperature hydrocarbon accumulation in the northern part of the Danish North Sea, and east of DONG's current Hejre HP/HT development. The jackupNoble Sam Turner spudded the Xena-1 well last December in 68 m (223 ft) of water, the well reaching a T/D of 5,071 m (223 ft). Maersk said it was assessing the commercial implications and would consider follow-up work with its partners. After plugging operations, the rig was due to drill an appraisal well on the Jude prospect elsewhere in the Danish sector.

In the Norwegian Sea, Statoil has proven further gas within tieback range of its Aasta Hansteen complex. The well on the Roald Rygg structure, drilled by the semisubTransocean Spitsbergen, encountered a 38-m (124-ft) gas column in the Nise formation in license PL602. It followed the earlier Snefrid Nord gas find drilled by the same rig, 7 km (4.3 mi) to the east.

Total too hit the target with its latest exploratory well in the Skirne area of the central Norwegian North Sea. The location of the well, drilled by the semisubLeiv Eiriksson, and the first on PL627, was 7 km (4.3 mi) east of the producing Skrine field. It appears to have found a 3-10 MMbboe recoverable deposit in the Mid-Jurassic Hugin formation.

Centrica reviewing gas field cessation options

Centrica is considering decommissioning various gas fields in the UK southern and Dutch North Sea over the next five years, and has appointed consultants Atkins to work on pre-front-end engineering and design for the campaign. One of the fields could be the gas producer Rose in UK block47/15, which came onstream in 2004 as a single-well tieback to the Amethyst East A2D-platform. Centrica has reportedly submitted a decommissioning plan for the facilities - that includes a wellhead protection structure, which would be removed, and an associated pipeline and umbilical, which would be left in situ.

Wintershall Noordzee expects to start production this year from the L6-B platform, its 25th fixed installation in the Dutch sector. The company claims the facility is of a unique minimal design that allows installation in a restricted military zone. In addition, it has submitted an application for a production license ahead of planned development of its F17a offshore oil discovery, which has been renamed Rembrandt. •

More in Regional Reports