Statoil has announced an increase in oil production thanks to the use of a new compressor. The new piece of equipment is in use on the Kvitebjørn field in the Norwegian North Sea, and the company expects that it should be able to boost oil production by the equivalent of 220 million barrels. In addition, ongoing success with the installation should enable Statoil to extend the useful working lifetime of the field by up to eight years.
The compressor will be used both to accelerate the rate of production and to boost the rate of oil recovery on the field. The recovery rate is expected to grow to 70pc from a previous rate of 55pc. Statoil’s Senior VP for Operations in the business’s Norwegian operation, Kjetil Hove, said that the barrels from the Kvitebjørn field were highly profitable and made a notable contribution to the wealth created in Norway’s continental shelf. He added that the benefits of growing production and extending the field’s working life would benefit suppliers, as well as Statoil’s shareholders directly, by providing a powerful ripple effect through the operation’s entire supply chain.
The new compressor installation is making a key contribution to the volume of gas resources recovered from the Norwegian field, which has grown its hydrocarbon reserves by a half since the original plan for operation and development was proposed in 2000. The new efficiencies are such that the additional barrels being extracted equate to production on a separately developed and medium-size second oil field.
Statoil’s VP for brownfield projects, Terese Kvinge, said that many people were unaware of how small modules were able to provide equal, or even greater, value as newly discovered fields, and that the development costs associated with their extraction were far less than with new fields, thanks to existing infrastructure already being in place.
The new compressor has been added to an existing production field that has been in operation for some years. This is because the reservoir pressure has dropped as gas and oil have been extracted. However, by decreasing platform pressure, production can be allowed to rise again.
The equipment was constructed by the Rosenberg Worley Parson Group, formerly known as the Bergen Group Rosenberg, located in Stavanger. It was placed into its operational position last summer and weighs one thousand tonnes.
This phase of pre-compression on the field is the first. However, space has been reserved in the module for a second phase if required. Light oil and rich gas from the Kvitebjørn field are both piped to Mongstad in the north and Kollsnes, which is located near Bergen.
Once the processing phase is completed at Kollsnes, a pipe transports dry gas to Europe. An additional pipe transports the separate NGL to Mongstad’s Vestprosess plant, where it is fractionated into butanes, propane and naptha gases. Condensate is piped to Mongstad via the Kvitebjørn pipeline, which links to the Troll Pipeline.
Statoil is also working on a technologically advanced and significant sub-sea gas compression project which will be delivered in 2015 as a global first. It will provide a vital new means of extracting additional volumes from current oil and gas fields in the Norwegian shelf.Last updated on 08:29PM - 24/09/14