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Successful Vigdis extension

October 21, 2003, 09:45 CEST

The Vigdis extension project operated by Statoil in the North Sea has started production, more than two months ahead of schedule and substantially below the original budget.

“We currently expect development costs, including drilling, to lie just under NOK 2.6 billion,” says project manager Morten Krogh. “That’s some NOK 400 million less than planned.”

The extension project will recover about 50 million barrels of additional oil from the Vigdis field, and is tied back via existing subsea installations to Statoil’s Snorre A platform.

Comprising four seabed templates, the new development is due to embrace a total of six wells. Of these, two are already drilled.

“We’ve had an able and experienced project team,” says Mr Krogh. “Collaboration both internally and with the main contractors has been excellent.”

The project was sanctioned while Norsk Hydro operated Vigdis, and Statoil took over the job – including drilling and petroleum technology, on 1 January along with the field operatorship.

To ensure continuity, personnel from Hydro have been involved in the project team to the end.

While this development ranks among the fastest completed by Statoil, it has been far from routine and project execution was not short of challenges.

Activity has been considerable at times, Mr Krogh reports, with eight vessels in action on the field simultaneously at peak.

At start-up, the new installations are producing about 12,000 barrels of oil per day from one well. Plateau output will be roughly 57,000 daily barrels from three wells.

“This development is highly significant for the Vigdis and Snorre infrastructure,” explains Mr Krogh. “Spare flowline and processing capacity is being utilised in a positive fashion.”