"Statoil is the largest operator of small fields on the NCS," says Astrid Sorensen, Statoil's senior vice president for the Troll/Sleipner business cluster.
"Small fields are responsible for 17% of Statoil's oil and gas production. Most of them are tied back to other platforms. By 2015, production from them will probably make up as much as 20-30%."
The Petrojarl I production ship has been pitching and rolling at the North Sea's Glitne field since 2001. At start-up in 2001, the Glitne field had four producing wells. Plans called for production to continue until 2003. Recoverable reserves are estimated to be 25 million barrels of oil.
"Everything indicates that we'll recover twice as much, closer to 50 million barrels," says Rolf Saltkjel, Glitne's operations manager.
Daily output is now 9,000 barrels of oil per day. Operator Statoil will drill the seventh well this summer which will produce from October, doubling output.
"The development of smaller and more demanding fields is essential to our maintaining oil production of one million barrels per day on the NCS," says Ms. Sorensen.
"Glitne is a shining example of a cost-effective focus on small fields."
High oil prices, more reservoir expertise and increased demand and competition are driving forces behind ever extended production.
"New finds will gradually become fewer and more complicated to develop," Ms. Sorensen says.
"Technological developments and continuous improvements allow us to recover ever more oil from marginal finds. We'll continue our small field focus."
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