Regularity high in first quarter

May 7, 2002, 10:30 CEST

A record for regularity in oil production was set on the Norwegian offshore fields operated by Statoil during the first quarter of 2002.

Their installations produced for 94 per cent of the available time, an increase of two per cent from the same period of last year.

“Every improvement in production regularity means millions of kroner in additional revenues,” says Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

“We’ve recently been working systematically to avoid operational shut-downs on our fields, and these efforts are now bearing fruit.”

Average production of oil and condensate by the group increased from 748,000 barrels oil per day in January-March 2001 to 761,000 this year.

Norway’s overall offshore output declined during the first quarter because of a production cutback imposed by the authorities. But production regularity does not reflect loss of output from this curb.

Overall, Statoil set a production record in the first quarter, with oil and gas output averaging 1,096,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

That compares with 1,005,000 barrels for the corresponding period last year, representing an improvement of nine per cent.

The main reasons for the rise include a substantial increase in gas production from Norwegian fields and rising oil output from international operations, as well as the good regularity.

“Unfortunately we suffered a setback on the health, safety and environmental side, with a fatal accident on Byford Dolphin on 17 April,” observes Mr Carlsen.

The drilling rig was operating on the Sigyn field in the North Sea when the incident occurred.

However, overall progress for injuries was recorded by Statoil during the first quarter.

The total recordable injury frequency – the number of injuries to group employees and contractor personnel per million working hours – declined from 7.9 per cent in January-March 2001 to 4.9 this year.

Actual recordable injuries fell from 132 to 84, while serious incidents were down from 90 to 70.