Norsk Hydro to Make Significant Investment on Oseberg East

The Oseberg Øst platform in the North Sea is to be upgraded to increase the profitability and lifetime of the field. The approximately NOK 1.9 billion investment was recently approved by the partners in the Oseberg license.

Innovative application of drilling technology, communications systems and a new organization structure will make it possible for the platform to carry out independent drilling operations without support vessels.

“The motivation for the upgrade is to recover more oil. We aim to increase the recovery rate from 28 to 35 percent to begin with, and to extend the platform’s lifetime,” says Ivar Aasheim, who leads the Mature Fields unit.

In this connection, provisional plans have been made for drilling seven wells. This will increase reserves by 40 billion barrels of oil.

Cooperation between land and sea
Oseberg Øst will have considerably fewer personnel on board than other platforms. Drilling and production data will be utilized better than previously through close collaboration between personnel on the platform and in the onshore organization.

“Drilling operations after the upgrade will be based on activities and support services being carried out on land as far as possible. We have reduced the number of offshore drilling personnel to a minimum. This will probably be the closest cooperation that has ever been set up between personnel on land and offshore on the Norwegian continental shelf,” says Aasheim.

The upgrade of Oseberg Øst will start at the beginning of the new year and will continue to the autumn of 2006. The platform will be in normal operation throughout this period.

The drilling campaign will start immediately after the upgrade has been completed. The drilling of the seven wells is planned to be carried out during the course of two and a half years.

The upgrade includes:

  • new drilling fluid module with appurtenant generator and transformer
  • new process control for zero discharges of drilling waste and pollutant liquids
  • 20 new cabins
  • two new lifeboats that each take 62 persons
  • new loading deck for drilling equipment and drilling chemicals

  • Partners in the Oseberg Ost License Group are Norsk Hydro as operator with 34%; Petoro with 33.6%; Statoil with 15.3%; Total with 10%; ExxonMobil with 4.7% and ConocoPhillips with 2.4%.
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