Gradual start-up of Vigdis and Snorre UPA

January 11, 2005, 00:25 CET

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has been told today, 11 January, that Statoil thinks it will be acceptable to resume partial production from its Snorre A platform in the North Sea.

Initially covering output from the Vigdis satellite and the UPA subsea production system, this would start restoring output suspended after a gas leak on 28 November last year.

A partial start-up could take place independently of remaining work with the platform wells on Snorre A, but its timing depends on the PSA’s consideration of documentation from Statoil.

“The start-up will be monitored by remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), which makes it weather-dependent” explains Øivind Reinertsen, senior vice president for the Tampen business cluster.

“Both the tension leg platform and the wells have been shut down for some time, so it is very uncertain when we can get back into normal production.”

Overall output from these facilities in full operation will be just under 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

“We’ve not only secured the well but also worked to document that the platform is safely moored and to remove small volumes of gas at the tether points under the hull,” Mr Reinertsen explains.

A good deal of inspection, also weather-dependent, is still needed on the platform wells before all of these can be brought back on stream.