Statoil to Simplify Operations at Skinfaks Field

Agreements concluded by Statoil on the purchase and sale of license interests will simplify development and operation of its Skinfaks field in the North Sea.

One of these deals involves the sale to Hydro of a nine per cent holding in this discovery, which lies in production licenses 152, 277 and 037E.

The other agreement has been concluded with ConocoPhillips, Shell and ExxonMobil to acquire their share of the Skinfaks section which lies in PL 037E.

These transactions mean that interests in the field will be the same as for Gullfaks in PL 050, where Statoil has 61 percent, Petoro 30 percent and Hydro nine percent.

Plans call for Skinfaks to be tied back to the Gullfaks C platform on the Statoil-operated field.

"Harmonizing license interests saves costs and simplifies work on Skinfaks," explains Thomas Ladsten, project manager in the portfolio management unit of Exploration & Production Norway.

"This is partly because a number of commercial agreements between the various license groups can be avoided . "Such harmonization is also one of our overall aims on the Norwegian continental shelf in order to simplify operations and enhance efficiency."

The agreements will have accounting effect from January 1, 2005 and are conditional on the approval of the Norwegian authorities.

A plan for development and operation of Skinfaks was submitted to the Ministry for Petroleum and Energy in December, with production scheduled to start in November 2006.

The concept envisages a subsea production system tied back to the existing seabed template on the Gullfaks South satellite, and use of existing pipelines from there to Gullfaks C.