Statoil Outlines 2004 Maintenance Plan for North Sea Fields

About a third of the nearly 500,000 bpd Statfjord crude oil system is set for a three-week turnaround in April/May this year, with a second lesser maintenance period in August/September, Statoil said.

Statoil said this would defer 45,000 barrels of oil or equivalent per day (boepd) of its own equity production. Estimating Statoil's share in the fields, this means about 150,000 bpd of actual output.

The second round of output maintenance on the Statfjord system comes in August/September, when the Statfjord A platform goes down for nine days followed by the Snorre A platform -- tied back to Statfjord A -- for 16 days.

According to Statoil's figures, these turnarounds will postpone 24,000 boepd of equity production or an estimated 100,000 bpd of total output, given the company's shares in these fields. Total Snorre production from A and B platforms is nearly 250,000 bpd, according to government data.

The roughly 400,000 bpd Gullfaks system, another offshore oilfield, will see limited turnarounds in both June and August/September, Statoil said.

The Visund platform, which produces about 35,000 bpd, will be shut in June for 16 days, Statoil said. Market sources said the shutdown would be June 6-20.

The Vigdis platform, which typically produces about 55,000 bpd of Gullfaks A blend, will also be shut for 16 days in August/September, deferring 10,000 boepd of Statoil equity production.

Statoil also indicated there would be maintenance on the 360,000 bpd Troll system, which operator Norsk Hydro later said was the result of a two-week shutdown at the Kollsnes gas processing plant.

"Troll B and C gas will have to be reinjected into the Froam reservoir, which leads to reduced oil output," a Norsk Hydro spokesman said.

Statoil said Troll B and C would be down for 16 days in May/June and July/August, deferring Statoil equity output of 15,000 boepd. Statoil has a 20.8 percent stake in Troll, which would imply shut-in production of about 75,000 bpd.

Several other stand-alone offshore oilfields are also due for maintenance, with the 145,000 bpd Norne field set for a two-week shutdown in August/September. Statoil figures imply 110,000 boepd of deferred production.

The small 30,000 bpd Glitne field will be in turnaround for a week in July/August. The primarily gas-producing Aasgard B platform will also be in turnaround for 10 days in August, which impacts an estimated 45,000 boepd of output.

The massive Sleipner East and West gas/condensate fields will also be closed for maintenance several times throughout the year, while the Karsto processing plant will be shut for three weeks' maintenance in August, Statoil said.