Statoil Takes 'Debottlenecking' Approach to Tampen Area
The most profitable approach to future development of the Tampen area in the Norwegian North Sea will be "debottlenecking" – upgrading and improving efficiency on the existing installations. This conclusion is drawn in recommendations submitted to the licensees in the Tampen fields by Statoil, which now serves as operator for the whole region.
Debottlenecking is also seen as the best solution for Statfjord, the oldest producer in the area, in meeting the goal of optimum resource recovery.
Other concepts covered by the Statoil studies included a new Tampen platform to handle processing and exports for the fields, or the leasing of capacity on Britain's Brent field. The report concludes that about 360 million additional barrels of oil equivalent could be recovered from Statfjord by improving operational efficiency and removing bottlenecks. It also finds that boosting gas and water injections in all the fields other than Statfjord ould improve recovery of Tampen's remaining resources by more than 10 percent. In the event, that would represent an increase from about 2.5 billion barrels of oil to almost 2.8 billion.
Gas exports from the Statfjord late life project are expected to start on October 1, 2007, but how these volumes will be transported remains to be clarified at a later date.
The solution calls for a reduction of just over 25 percent in carbon dioxide emissions from the field and more than 35 percent for nitrogen oxide emissions. Statoil also recommends that produced water be cleaned with cost effective technology such as CTour in order to achieve the target of zero harmful discharges to the sea. The area studies have shown that the extra value creation indicated earlier by Statoil is feasible, and a number of specific measures have been identified to help achieve this target.
The challenge ahead will be to continue optimizing this project until the point at which a final decision is taken in the autumn of 2004. During the autumn, the Statfjord partnership is due to decide on the Statoil proposals. The licensees in all the other Tampen fields will also be considering the area-wide solutions in the report during the same period.
This region of the northern North Sea embraces Gullfaks, Snoore and Visund as well as Statfjord, in addition to a number of subsea developments tied back to the main fields.
With its first installation coming on stream in 1979, Tampen contains nine platforms, 300 platform wells and 130 subsea wells. The area has 12 licensees including Statoil.
NOK 300 billion has already been invested in this part of the Norwegian continental shelf, yielding total revenues so far of almost NOK 1,700 billion.
Statfjord alone passed a milestone on February 26, 2003 when its total revenues topped NOK 1,000 billion.
Tampen currently produces one million barrels of oil equivalent per day, and some 2,500 people are employed on its fields.
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