Maersk Oil's Cross-Border Deal Extends Field Life at Harald

Maersk Oil is entering its first cross-border tie-in, which will enable gas and condensate from a field in Norwegian waters to be taken to Maersk Oil's Harald platform, in Danish waters, for processing before exporting onwards.

The agreement is an example of how Maersk Oil is rationalizing its operations in the Danish North Sea as oil and gas output declines to increase efficiency, prolong production and extend the life of its fields.

It also opens up the door for future tie-ins within Danish waters and across borders.

The Harald processing platform lies on the northern brink of Maersk Oil's North Sea operations in Danish waters. Trym, in Norwegian waters and operated by a joint venture of DONG Energy E&P and Bayerngas, is just six kilometers away.

Maersk Oil will get extra revenue as gas and condensate is transported by pipeline from Trym to the Harald platform for processing. This revenue will contribute towards covering the costs of running the platform, delaying the date when operation spending outstrips revenues leading to abandonment.

"We will be able to recover more from the Harald reservoir when otherwise we would have had to shut the platform down earlier," said Philip Wodka, a director in Maersk Oil's Danish Operations.

For the Trym consortium, the use of Maersk Oil's infrastructure allows it to develop the field quickly, without building its own platform, a time-consuming and costly affair.

Making infrastructure available for alternative use is just one way in which Maersk Oil can increase the efficiency of its operations. Such seemingly small maneuvers add up to a prolonged production curve, ensuring that Maersk Oil keeps its long-term commitment to the North Sea true.

"The agreement creates precedence in terms of our tariff breakdown for future tie-in negotiations. We have since seen other opportunities on the horizon for optimizing the use of our infrastructure," Wodka said.

"Now that we have secured the first agreement, it will be easier to strike future deals. Norwegian gas import is one opportunity being pursued," he said.

Integrating Norwegian and Danish gas infrastructure could expand Norwegian export capacity for gas while helping prolong Denmark's gas self-sufficiency.