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Improving recovery in Gullfaks area

December 8, 2004, 03:15 CET

A NOK 3.4 billion plan for development and operation (PDO) covering two satellites of Statoil’s Gullfaks field has been submitted to the Norwegian authorities today, 8 December.

These proposals embrace the Skinfaks discovery and improved recovery from Rimfaks, both located south-west of the main field in the North Sea.

Skinfaks was proven in 2002 and comprises several small structures, while Rimfaks came on stream in June 2000 as a satellite development tied back to Gullfaks A.

Plans call for recovery from the latter field to be improved by drilling supplementary wells.

The development solution for Skinfaks is based on a subsea production system tied back to the existing templates on the Gullfaks South satellite, and thence to Gullfaks C.

“This approach helps to exploit infrastructure in the Gullfaks area and gives good resource utilisation with limited investment,” says Geir Ilsaas, project manager for Skinfaks/Rimfaks.

“Combining a Skinfaks development with additional wells on Rimfaks achieves good economics in two projects which would otherwise have been marginal.”

A total of eight producers are due to be drilled on the two fields, including one multilateral with zone control and gas lift to improve recovery.

“This will present our drilling specialists with a challenge,” says Mr Ilsaas.

The plans would improve the recovery factor on Rimfaks from 33 to 41 per cent – corresponding to roughly 36 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Recoverable reserves in Skinfaks are put at about 31 million boe, with production scheduled to start in November 2006.

Statoil is operator for the area and has a 61 per cent interest, while Petoro holds 30 per cent and Norsk Hydro nine per cent.

A decision on the PDO is expected from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy next February/March.