Norsk Hydro Pleased with Predrilling Results on Fram Vest

Everything points towards increased oil reserves that can be produced from the satellite field Fram Vest, after a successful pre-drilling in which the wells were drilled longer than originally estimated. In addition the whole pre-drilling program was completed last Saturday, well before plan and at considerably lower costs than originally budgeted. Petroleum technology manager Mari Skaug, who is the client for the Fram Vest drilling, is proud and delighted with the pre-drill results from the wells on the important satellite field. Fram Vest will come onstream in October and will be linked to the processing unit on Troll C.

Like the gas field Tune, which is a satellite of Oseberg, the oil field Fram Vest is an example of the new generation of oil and gas fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, where the development of satellites increases recovery and extends the life of existing, older field installations. The pre-drilling on Fram Vest also showed promising prospects for a type of subsea technology in which Hydro has a leading role on the continental shelf.

In the original plan for development and operation (PDO) for Fram Vest, it was estimated that the pre-drilling would take 367 days using two rigs. The whole drilling program has instead been carried out in 316 days with one rig, "Deepsea Delta". The savings achieved through the reduction in time are not the only gain, as Skaug points out.

"It was presumed in the PDO that we would pre-drill up to four wells before production start in the autumn. As the pre-drilling has been so efficient, we have been able to drill five wells. One of these is a lateral well, which is quite unique for the pre-drilling stage. This may be the only predrilled lateral well in a satellite field in the world," she adds.

"In total, the wells on Fram Vest have been predrilled 5,660 meters longer than originally assumed in the PDO. All oil producers are longer, and we have an additional lateral well and an additional observation well, which will give us better understanding of the reservoir and more control during production.

"All these factors suggest that recovery from Fram Vest will be higher than calculated before we started the drilling campaign," Skaug concludes.

She agrees that there is great satisfaction in the Fram Vest project and among the licensees, and she salutes the teams that were involved in the successful drilling from the Petroleum Technology and Drilling units. "Drilling superintendent Tor Johan Skakstad has done a wonderful job," she adds. "We've really got a lot out of this pre-drilling. It's been fun!"

The Fram Vest field will, according to plan, start to produce oil in October 2003. Production is estimated at around 60,000 barrels per day. Fram Vest will be developed with two four-well templates, which were installed on the Fram field in June last year. The wellstream will be sent to Troll C for processing. The process module was installed on Troll C at the beginning of May. The investments in Fram Vest are around four billion kroner. The reserves are estimated at round 100 million barrels of oil and 8 billion cubic meters of gas. Hydro continues to work on plans for developing other resources in the Sogn area.


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