Committed to Halten Bank South

February 16, 2000, 08:00 CET

A development solution for the Halten Bank South area of the Norwegian Sea is being pursued by Statoil after taking over as operator from Saga Petroleum on 1 January.

The aim of these efforts is to come up with plans for the fields which give an acceptable return at an average oil price of at least USD 12 per barrel.

Halten Bank South embraces Kristin, Lavrans, Tyrihans North and Tyrihans South. Gas and condensate have also been found in the Erlend and Ragnfrid structures.

Preliminary estimates put recoverable gas reserves at 100-150 billion cubic metres, comparable with volumes in Statoil's Sleipner West field in the North Sea.

In addition come some 600-900 million barrels of recoverable condensate and oil, roughly on a par with the group's nearby Åsgard development.

Statoil is building on the extensive work done by Saga to bring forward a unitised development solution, says project manager Lars Røssland.

"To achieve the best possible economics, the challenge will be to utilise existing infrastructure," he adds. "That includes the Åsgard installations, the gas pipeline network and receiving facilities at Kollsnes or Kårstø."

A possible solution could be to install a floating platform on Kristin, with the gas fully processed before being sent through the Åsgard transport trunkline to Kårstø.

Unstabilised condensate could be transferred to the Åsgard A production ship for further processing and export.

Developing Kristin, which contains some 40 billion cubic metres of gas and 250 million barrels of liquids, looks at present like costing NOK 11-12 billion. Investment in each of the other fields would come on top of that.

After assessing the reservoirs and various development options, the project will decide this autumn whether to continue work.

A plan for development and operation could be submitted to the authorities in May 2001, with production starting in the autumn of 2005 at the earliest.

Reserves on Halten Bank South lie in production licences 073, 091, 134 and 199. A total of 13 wildcat and appraisal wells have been drilled to map the fields.

Statoil's interest in the various licences has ranged from 25 to 28 per cent since 1 January. The state's direct financial interest (SDFI) holds 25-45 per cent, with Norsk Hydro, Agip, Totalfina and Exxon Mobil as other licensees.