Women Who Shine: Q&A with Margareth Ovrum

Rigzone: Technological innovation has played a key role in the energy renaissance in the United States. Discuss your current role and new technology you have witnessed lately.

Ovrum: Statoil is a technological focused upstream company - technology is in our DNA. We have for more than 40 years taken the lead and pushed for innovative thinking that is centred on technology development.  We dare to take the first steps and dare to be the first company to do so!

We collaborate with partners and the industry and have an open approach towards innovation and sharing. Our innovative muscle and ability to develop and implement technology has been a key success factor for Statoil since 1972, and will help us push through the industry’s newest challenges and a different business environment - deeper waters, operating longer from shore, in harsher areas, dealing with even more unconventional resources in a tougher, competitive market while margins are lower.

Technology will be increasingly important to ensure access and value creation in the future, but the upside potential depends on our innovative use of technology. This is not only about new technology, but also new ways to implement technology. There is often a big element of innovation in standardization, i.e. fast track.

Also, Statoil has a firm technology strategy that supports the corporate strategy. It sets the strategic direction for technology development and imple­mentation to meet the corporate ambitions.

New technologies that we are currently working on include:

  • Åsgard subsea compression which will start up in 2015. It has been a goal for the industry for 30 years and is the missing link to the subsea factory. It will increase recovery from gas fields.
  • Remote hot tap. Statoil is behind the development of new technology that will make it possible to tie-in to a pipe on the seabed, while it is in operation, without divers and without preparing the pipe for it. Overall, it is safe and cost efficient. This practice was a successful operation on Åsgard in 2012 and was awarded Offshore Technology Conference’s spotlight on technology-prize in 2013.
  • Permanent reservoir monitoring. Permanent cables were placed on Grane and Snorre, which will result in 30 million extra barrels of oil equivalent. It is not first in the world, but the largest.

Rigzone: Statoil has a wonderful reputation in the industry and is known for cutting-edge technological innovation on its mature assets. Please discuss. 

Ovrum: I appreciate that we are acknowledged for our efforts – and I am proud of how we work with technology to further develop our mature assets. The Statfjord A platform in the North Sea is a prime example of our technological know-how. We are now extending production from the platform until 2020 on our oldest platform - it started production back in 1979!

That extension means that Statfjord A will still be in operation when the new giant Johan Sverdrup comes on stream. And, the lifetime extension of Statfjord A is a result of the successful Statfjord late life project and subsequent extensive Increased Oil Recovery (IOR) work and technical assessments (e.g. changing the drainage strategy from water injection to depressurization, which increases gas production).


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