Vega oil also to be produced

July 14, 2009, 10:47 CEST

Templates for the Vega projects on their way out to the North Sea.

(Photo: FMC/Grenland Group)

Located in the northern North Sea, this structure forms part of a project which also embraces the Vega North and Vega Central discoveries. Plans have called for these finds to be developed as a gas and condensate (light oil) field, but StatoilHydro will now also produce a thin layer of light crude from the southern discovery.

"This only calls for simple solutions and limited investment, while giving us a big gain," explains project manager Finn Langgård. Wells on Vega will be tied back to the Gjøa platform, which is due on stream next year.

Extra meters must be installed on the wellheads to permit recovery of the light crude. The total price tag for the project is about NOK 350 million. Since the light crude is not very different from the relatively fluid-rich gas/condensate, it has been possible to come up with a solution which uses the same wells.

Big savings
"The two Vega South wells will be designed to handle the extra crude when they’re drilled this autumn," explains Tom Hasse Pedersen, venture manager for the Vega/Vega South oil projects.

"They’re due to be completed next spring and summer, when conditions will be calmer. We expect to make big savings by doing this because waiting on weather for the rig will be reduced."

An application will be made to the authorities for exemption from the requirement to submit a revised plan for development and operation (PDO).

Plans call for Vega to come on stream through the Gjøa tie-in during the fourth quarter of next year at an estimated total cost of NOK 7 billion. Recoverable reserves in the field (excluding the oil zone) are put at 18 billion standard cubic metres of gas and 26 million barrels of condensate.

Vega South lies in production licence 090C, where StatoilHydro is the operator with a 45% holding. The other licensees are Bayerngas with 25%, Idemitsu 15% and GDF Suez 15%.

Vega Central and Vega North lie in PL 248, again operated by StatoilHydro. The group has a 60% stake, with Petoro holding the remaining 40%.