Statoil Opens Support Facility for Offshore Installations

A purpose-built land support facility will be opened on December 16, which will integrate Statoil's installations in the Norwegian Sea more closely with operations teams on land.

"Our aim is to position wells in the reservoir in a way which optimises production," says Svein Omdal, project manager for constructing the Onshore Support Centre.

This facility stands at Stjordal near Trondheim, where Statoil's operations organizations for Heidrun, Kristin, Norne and Aasgard are located.

The group has already gained positive experience from a pilot project with land-based support and real-time data transfer on Heidrun.

Sub-surface specialists at the support centre can now back offshore colleagues with expertise on drilling, wells, petroleum technology, resource development and data processing.

Formation parameters such as resistance, radioactivity, porosity and density are measured when a well reaches the reservoir and are then transmitted to the surface.

These data are converted to values for oil and gas - a process which previously involved printing out long strips of paper and faxing them to the land organization.

Today, this information can be transferred via fiber optic cables directly to Statoil's computer network.

The group has budgeted up to NOK 10 billion for 75 wells on Heidrun, Kristin and Aasgard over the coming five years, reports Mr. Omdal.

He expects to see increased production and lower drilling costs when the risk of sub-optimal well positioning has been reduced.

In one case on Heidrun, for instance, Statoil could have lost several million barrels of crude if the well had ended up with a five-meter margin of error from the oil column. Improved support and interaction between sea and land can also reduce rig time, and Statoil expects to cut annual drilling costs by NOK 30-60 million in operations backed from Stjordal.