Busy summer on Heidrun
Work to extend plateau production from Heidrun by roughly four years will make July and August particularly busy on this Statoil platform.
Plans for the Norwegian Sea field during the summer call for flowlines to be laid to transport oil from the north flank of the reservoir to the processing facilities.
This area of Heidrun is due to be produced via subsea wells, and the templates have already been installed. Manifolds will be positioned during May.
Modifying the tension leg platform to accept crude from the north flank is scheduled to start in early August.
Extending to the summer of 2000, this work will involve 160 people, reports project director Harald Mork. That means a doubling of normal staffing on the TLP, which will continue producing at normal levels during the conversion.
"Our biggest challenge is therefore to complete the conversion in a safe manner without disrupting production," says Mr Mork.
Heidrun is currently producing at its plateau rate of roughly 210,000 barrels of oil per day.
The field also sends some 800 million cubic metres of associated gas per year through the Haltenpipe line to Statoil's methanol plant at Tjeldbergodden in mid-Norway.
Without the Heidrun north flank project, production would go off plateau around 2001.
In addition to phasing in the north flank and modifying the TLP, Statoil will be laying a gas pipeline to its nearby Åsgard field to carry 750 million cubic metres of gas per year.
Currently reinjected in Heidrun, this volume will be exported through the Åsgard Transport trunkline via Statoil's Kårstø complex north of Stavanger to customers in continental Europe.
The Heidrun plateau project, including the gas line to Åsgard, has been costed at just over NOK 5 billion and is due to be completed on 1 October 2000.
Oil production from the field is expected to continue until 2020.