Heidrun in the Norwegian Sea has become the first Statoil field which can handle all produced water without any environmentally-harmful discharges.
This follows the investment of some NOK 600 million by the Heidrun licensees in a plant for injecting such water – and any oil or chemical residues it contains – back into the reservoir.
The result is zero harmful discharges under normal operation, without any increase in emissions to the air. And the injected water serves as pressure support to improve oil recovery.
“This represents an important step forward for Statoil towards its zero-discharge goal,” says adviser Sten Paltiel in the natural environment sector of the Heidrun operations organisation.
“And it marks the principal measure on Heidrun for meeting the Norwegian government’s requirement of zero harmful discharges to the sea by the end of 2005.”
Heidrun is still producing at its plateau level of just over 170,000 barrels of oil per day. Around 75,000 daily barrels of water accompanies this output.
The new injection facility will be able to handle just over 110,000 barrels of produced water per day when it becomes fully operational on 1 August.
Given that the water cut on Heidrun is set to increase, Mr Paltiel reports that plans call for capacity in the plant to be expanded in 2005.