HAMMERFEST, Norway, April 19 (UPI) -- With the industry facing tightened purse strings, Norwegian energy company Statoil said it was examining plug-and-play concepts of field development.
The company unveiled the so-called Cap-X subsea development concept at a Barents Sea energy conference in Hammerfest, Norway. Jez Averty, a vice president in charge of exploration strategies for Statoil, said the concept is part of a strategy to reduce costs at no detriment to efficiency.
"We as explorers need to find resources that can be developed at a lower cost," he said in a statement. "Cap-X can potentially have a significant impact on developing the resources in the Barents Sea and in other areas with shallow reservoirs."
Cap-X was envisioned more than three years ago as a way to tap into reserves in the Barents Sea. Statoil said the concept calls for a smaller drilling footprint that could potentially extend the reach beyond production and drilling platforms.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, said in an annual review that lower crude oil prices means nearly half of the continental shelf's potential may be left idled as energy companies trim operational expenses.
According to government estimates, there are roughly 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be discovered in Norwegian waters. Half of that is in the Barents Sea, with the rest distributed in the North and Norwegian seas.