STAVANGER, Norway -- StatoilHydro has authorized 55 pilot technology projects this year on Norwegian shelf fields, said Margareth Ovrum, Executive VP for Technology at ONS today.
The company has raised its R&D budget by 20%, she added, to around NKr 2.16 bn. Much of this has been allocated to programs designed improve oil recovery. Ovrum said that on average, the company is achieving a 50% rate of recovery from its Norwegian fields.
However, Astrid Jorgenvaag, VP of Research & Development, pointed out that an extra 1% yield from these fields would translate at around $40 bn of extra value at today's oil prices.
Among the priorities Jorgenvaag listed are improving the productivity and cost-efficiency of drilling and intervention on the shelf. "Drilling targets are getting smaller and smaller and also more difficult to drill from our mature field platforms. We want to be able to drill 50,000 cu m accumulations compared with 300,000 cu m on average today.
"We also aim to improve our geophysical models for identifying reserves. Also, the remaining oil won't go so easily towards our production wells, so new recover methods will be essential."
Earlier this year, StatoilHydro completed what it claims was the world's first remotely controlled hot-tap operation, on the new Tampen Link pipeline in the North Sea. The installation and the ROV were managed by Technip. The two parties are set to take this technique to much deeper water (800 m) next year on the Ormen Lange Phase 2 development offshore Mid-Norway.