The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) announced it has granted ExxonMobil consent to start-up a subsea facility for production well 25/11-E-29 AH on the Balder field.
The central North Sea field was developed with subsea wells connected to the production and storage vessel Balder FPSO. The oil is transported by tanker, NPD explained.
“The Balder oil field has been producing since 1999,” NPD reported.
ExxonMobil Gets Green Light For North Sea Facility
ExxonMobil is the operator and sole licensee in production licence 001.
The field lies approximately 190 kilometres (118 miles) northwest of Stavanger.
Over the last year, the FPSO processed 48,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), out of which 33,000 barrels come from the Balder field and 15,000 barrels from the Ringhorne field.
Exxon had recently received a consent from the Norwegian offshore safety watchdog Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use a new subsea well on the Balder field.
Balder Production Extended To 2025
Production from the Balder field was originally expected to last until 2011.
However, as a partial result from the tie-back of the Ringhorne field to Balder FPSU in 2006, Exxon got an authorisation to extend the facility’s operating life to 2025.
Over the last few years, several upgrades have been carried out on the FPSO to improve its reliability. As a result, the unit processed 48,000 bpd in 2015.
The PSA also granted consent for Exxon to use six new subsea wells on the field in 2013.
A drilling campaign followed in the first quarter of 2013, which continued into 2016, using the West Alpha semi-submersible drilling unit.
Until now, six new wells have been put into production. According to Exxon, this has significantly increased production from the field.