Seeking permanent Gimle production

January 25, 2006, 14:15 CET

An application for permanent production from the Gimle find in the North Sea has been submitted by Statoil to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE). Production can start as soon as this approval has been given

The request was submitted on 20 January on behalf of the licensees.

The MPE has previously approved pilot production from Gimle from February to December 2005. Gimle lies in the Tampen area, between the Gullfaks and Visund fields.

Gimle was proven in December 2004, and pilot production from the field started shortly afterwards. The discovery, previously known as Topas, was proven with a 7,400-metre-long well drilled from the Gullfaks C platform.

The well is tied back to Gullfaks C and has produced almost two million barrels of oil in the pilot production phase.

"Gimle is a good example of how we are constantly developing small fields near our platforms in a cost-efficient way," says Lars Christian Bacher, senior vice president of the Tampen business cluster in Statoil's Exploration & Production Norway business area. "Exploration close to our installations is important if we are to fully exploit the existing infrastructure.

Most of the partners have agreed to the drilling of two new wells from Gullfaks C to the Gimle structure in the next few years. A water injector will be drilled in 2006, and a new producer is planned for 2007. With this development solution, recoverable reserves are put at 25 million barrels of oil and about one billion standard cubic metres of gas.

The Gimle find stretches over two licences. The owners have agreed to establish a new Gimle Unit, with Statoil as operator, which will cover the Gimle area. As the Gimle Unit does not have the same ownership structure as Gullfaks, it has been necessary to establish a tieback and processing agreement with the Gullfaks licence.

The partners in Gimle are Statoil, Petoro, Hydro, ConocoPhillips and Total.