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Kvitebjørn plan ready

December 22, 1999, 00:00 CET

A plan for development and operation (PDO) of Statoil's Kvitebjørn field in the North Sea is ready to be submitted to the Norwegian authorities.

Covering recoverable reserves put at roughly 55 billion cubic metres of gas and 132 million barrels of condensate, this project is expected to cost about NOK 7.6 billion in current money.

"European demand for gas is growing," observes Kvitebjørn project manager Bjarne Bakken. "Providing a sales contract is allocated to the field for the autumn of 2004, a development decision could be taken as early as next summer."

Together with partners Norsk Hydro and Elf, Statoil wants to develop the field with a jacket-supported production platform which could be installed during the spring of 2003.

Drilling would begin immediately, allowing Kvitebjørn to start production from four wells in October 2004.

The field could produce just over 20 million cubic metres of rich gas (containing natural gas liquids) and 62,500 barrels of condensate per day from a total of nine wells. This corresponds to six billion cubic metres of sales gas annually.

Processing facilities on the platform will separate rich gas and condensate for transport through separate lines, with the gas going to Statoil's Kollsnes treatment plant near Bergen.

It will there by processed into sales gas and NGLs, with the former piped to continental Europe and the liquids transported via the Vestprosess system for processing to butane, propane or naphtha at Statoil's Mongstad refinery.

Current plans call for the condensate to be piped through a new line – the Kvitebjørn Oil Pipeline – tied into the existing Troll Oil Pipeline II running from Hydro's Troll C platform to Mongstad.

The platform will have a full drilling package, which Mr Bakken describes as an economically favourable solution in part because it eliminates the need for a separate drilling rig.

In addition, the installation has been designed to accept oil and gas from other possible small fields in the vicinity.

The living quarters will have 95 berths, providing the capacity to accommodate more than the 25 crew required to staff the platform in regular operation.

Statoil applied earlier this month to Norway's Gas Supply Committee for the allocation of gas deliveries from Kvitebjørn and other fields. The response to this application, expected in March 2000, will determine when Kvitebjørn can be developed.

Final approval from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is awaited by 1 July.