Norwegian government approves extended operations at a field in the North Sea in order to access remaining reserves. Photo courtesy of Statoil.
OSLO, Norway, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said it consented to the use of a drilling platform in the North Sea in order to squeeze the remaining resources out of the area.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate signed off on the extended use of the so-called B platform on the Gulfaks field through the end of 2035. In asking for extension, operating energy company Statoil said the field could be profitable at least through 2031, and potentially longer if the right conditions are in place.
"The NPD believes that further operation of Gullfaks B is needed in order to recover the remaining resources on Gullfaks," the regulator said in a statement. "The drilling rig has recently been upgraded and new wells are now being drilled from the facility."
Statoil started what it said was the first wet gas compression process on the seabed at Gullfaks, a method the company said could extend the production plateau at the field by about two years.
Statoil submitted production plans to the government last year for new development programs at the Gullfaks field, which the company said could add another 18 million barrels of oil equivalent to net Norwegian production. Subsea compression could add another 22 million barrels of oil equivalent to Gullfaks output.
The region in question started production in early 1988 and the NPD said that if operations proceed efficiently, there is a potential for reserve growth and extended production.
Preliminary production figures for July show oil, natural gas liquid and condensate on the rise because fields in production were contributing more to overall volumes than initially expected. The government estimates there are roughly 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be discovered in Norwegian waters.