LONDON, Nov 21 (Reuters) - The Njord North Sea production platform may have to be replaced if oil and gas development drilling is to continue in the surrounding area, junior partner Faroe Petroleum said on Thursday.
The Statoil-operated platform was shut for deck structure reinforcement last year, and Faroe said in September it would not reopen until the second quarter of 2014.
Faroe reiterated the re-opening schedule for production but said further development drilling in the area would require a different solution.
"Significant oil and gas resources remain in the Njord field and surrounding catchment area with potential for over 20 years of remaining production," the company said in a statement, also citing the proximity of other discoveries.
"On this basis, the Njord partnership is evaluating a number of scenarios for the long term further development of Njord and the accumulations in the surrounding area."
Faroe said these included bringing the Njord A platform ashore for further strengthening of the structure or replacing the hull and potentially building a new platform or floating production storage and offtake (FPSO) vessel. A choice would be made between these and other options by the end of next year, it said.
Njord A is a semi-submersible drilling, accommodation and production facility which works along with a storage vessel, Njord B.
Njord came on stream in 1997. In 2005, the field development plan for the Njord gas export project was approved with gas export starting in 2007.
The Hyme oil field has been developed as a subsea satellite to Njord and came on stream in March this year.
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