Statoil Assessing Svale & Staer Development Options

Opportunities for developing the Svale and Staer fields in the Norwegian Sea are being examined by Statoil. The operator is considering submitting a plan for development and operation (PDO) to the Norwegian authorities in May this year.

The Staer and Svale deposits are five and 10 kilometers north of the Norne ship respectively. The proposal entails using three templates - two on Svale and one on Staer - with a total of eight wells tied back to the vessel. Plans call for the templates to be in place as early as September.

Oil production on the Norne field is declining, and phasing in the satellites will positively utilize available capacity on the production ship.

Investments are estimated at roughly NOK 3.5 billion.

The concept under consideration would only require minor modifications of the Norne ship.

Project manager Kjetel Digre emphasizes that the Staer and Svale projects have marginal profitability.

Drilling is due to begin in October 2004, with production start-up in the autumn of 2005.

Oil production is expected to be almost 70,000 barrels per day. The prospects contain relatively small amounts of gas.

The planned facilities on the Norne ship would allow more wells to be phased in.

Statoil has also found oil in the Falk and Lerke structures in the same area and the nearby Linerle structure is due to be drilled later this year.

In addition to Statoil with 40.5 percent, the licensees in Staer and Svale are Petoro with 24.5 percent, Hydro with 13.5 percent, Eni with 11.5 percent and Shell/Enterprise with 10 percent.