Gullfaks tops two billion barrels

May 18, 2005, 15:15 CEST

An important milestone has been passed by Statoil’s Gullfaks field in the North Sea today, 18 May, with the production of its two-billionth barrel of oil.

Since coming on stream in 1986, this development has yielded oil, gas and natural gas liquids worth roughly NOK 350 billion. In addition come output and revenues from various satellites.

“The original plans envisaged that we’d be shut down by now,” observes Lars Christian Bacher, operations vice president for Gullfaks.

“Technology advances, greater reservoir knowledge and a good contribution by the organisation mean that we can stay on stream for many years to come.”

While 54.5 per cent of the stock tank oil originally in place (Stooip) in Gullfaks has been recovered, the long-term ambition is to reach a recovery rate of close to 70 per cent.

The Gullfaks team won the 2004 improved oil recovery (IOR) prize from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, with special mention for its extensive use of new drilling methods and wells, and for phasing in satellites.

“We’re continuing to search actively around Gullfaks, with three exploration wells scheduled in the area this year,” says Mr Bacher.

“Two of these represent extensions of existing production wells, whilst one – dubbed Apollo – is free-standing.

“In addition, we’re now drilling the 10,000-metre Gulltopp well and have just completed the Topas well.”

Gullfaks provided Statoil’s baptism of fire as a fully-fledged operator, since it represented the first field where the group was also responsible for the development phase.