Statoil transforms Denmark's oil outlook
A Statoil-led group looks to have discovered Denmark's largest new oil accumulation since Skjold in 1977. The Siri-1 well in Block 5604/20, 260 km northwest of Esbjerg, tested nearly 6,000 b/d and associated gas.
Initial estimates suggest reserves of 100-150 million bbl, although this will have to be confirmed by further seismic and appraisal drilling in the block this year. A production floater operating by 1998 looks the likeliest development scenario.
The find vindicated the recent Fourth Licensing Round awards, designed by the government to reactivate Denmark's stagnant exploration sector. More significantly, Siri-1 was also the first discovery outside Denmark's Central Graben area. The well was drilled by semisub Deepsea Bergen to a depth of 2,200 meters in 60 meters of water.
Earlier, the same rig had no success drilling the first exploration well in Moere coastal Block 6204/10, off mid-Norway. However, Statoil intends to persevere with another well this September on acreage just to the north, where oil and gas have been located.
One other discovery, currently undergoing extended test evaluation in northern UK waters, is well N33, drilled from Total's Alwyn North platform. Tests at different intervals yielded 1.6 mmcf/d of gas and 5,600 b/d condensate. Further delineation wells are planned.
DONG weighs up pipeline proposal
Amerada Hess and Dansk Olie og Naturgas (DONG) are considering expanding Denmark's offshore gas transportation network. Currently, the country's gas needs are met by pipelines emanating from fields in the southwest sector of the Danish North Sea. Their combined capacity is 7.5 bcm/year. However, as elsewhere in Europe, demand for gas in Denmark is surging.
Amerada proposes a new pipeline to the west coast of Jutland from its Syd Arne accumulation in Block 5604/29. The operator successfully re-appraised this old discovery last year, following the purchase of Norsk Hydro's licence interest. Amerada has plentiful acreage in neighboring blocks, over which it recently conducted seismic: if these prove gas-prone, they could link into the new line, along with numerous other small fields in the vicinity which could not justify transport infrastructure on their own. Amerada costs the new line at DKr1.5-2.5 billion: it could also be used to tie in gas deliveries from Germany, the UK, and Norway.
A few miles northwest of Syd Arne, a new 15-20 km loop line bypassing the Ekofisk center has been proposed to link the Statpipe and Norpipe gas trunklines carrying supplies to Emden, Germany. Ekofisk facilities are being redeveloped to manage only gas from their own field. If the NKr500 million loop is approved by the authorities next month, it could be in service by summer 1998.
Amerada Hess cleared for Scott tieback
In UK Blocks 15/21a and 22, the Scott Field partners are close to maximizing the platform's production facilities. DTI approval has been granted for the Telford subsea oil and gas development: this comprises four structures straddling the southern part of these blocks.
Development will be in two phases: the first involves drilling three producers and one water injection well this year leading to oil production early next year. The 150-ton subsea manifold will mimic the design for the newly onstream South Scott satellite. Continuing the standardization theme, Telford will employ ABB Vetco Gray subsea trees, just like Amerada's other newish UK developments, Hudson and Fife.
Current oil and gas estimates for Telford are 48 million bbl and 74 bcf. Analyst Wood Mackenzie costs the first development phase at 140 million, which includes modifications to the Scott platform such as a new 200 tonne riser caisson. Telford's gas will head to the mainland through the SAGE system.
Disappointingly for Amerada, a well probing another nearby structure, Sigma C, only found water, putting an end to thoughts of a subsea tieback to the Rob Roy manifold.
Not yet approved are Dauntless and Durward, another Amerada-operated dual field development (around 100 MM bbl) in UK Blocks 21/11 and 16. However, Bluewater has been confirmed to supply the floating production vessel, thought to be a newbuild Japanese tanker. Oil production could start early in 1997, peaking at 55,000 b/d.
Major/marginal developments lift Dutch sector
NAM has commissioned a study for a new gas wellhead/production platform which would have a larger capacity - 16 million cm/d - than any currently operating on the Dutch shelf. Stork Protech is performing basic and detail design for the normally unmanned installation in Block L9, which will feed into the Nogat export system via a new 20-km, 24-inch pipeline.
Clyde Petroleum has further stoked up the latterly subdued Dutch development sector by announcing a three-field scheme in Blocks P2a and P6. These are small structures (combined reserves 112 bcf) which will be exploited using low-cost, re-usable unmanned jackup production platforms tied back to the P6A processing facilities. From there, gas will be transported firstly through the P6 pipeline to L10-A and then in the Noordgastransport line to Uithuizen.
Combined costs are put at just DFl 205 million. State group EBN is expected to forsake its traditionally passive role by reimbursing its share of past costs on the project with interest. Clyde debuted as an operator off The Netherlands in 1994 with Q8-B, determined to prove that small marginal developments could be profitable despite the sector's fiscal restrictions.
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