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OE17: Focus on the Arctic

Written by  OE Staff Thursday, 07 September 2017 04:04

One of the most anticipated exploration wells in Europe this year was the multi-billion barrel potential Arctic Korpfjell prospect in the Barents Sea.

While the probe, completed late September, didn't prove commercial volumes, the region is a growing hub and those who’re part of it are at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 to seek partnerships with Aberdeen and UK firms. 

The Barents Sea is home to the Hammerfest hub, which serves two offshore fields (Snøhvit and Goliat), with three more (Johan Castberg, Wisting and Alta/Gohta) expected by 2030, and an LNG plant. The Norwegian 23rd, 24th and TFO (awards in predefined areas) licensing rounds are expected to yield further acreage and, along with Kirkeness, further north, developments in the Pechora Sea, Kara Sea, and Yamal, as well as the Northern Sea Route, could be supported. 

Meanwhile, the Northern Norwegian Sea is served by Sandnessjoen and the Helgeland region, supporting Statoil’s Norne and Aker BP’s Skarv developments, and, soon, Aasta Hansteen, which will connect to Polarled, the northernmost European grid pipeline. 

Both Hammerfest and Sandessjoen are home to ASCO and NorSea supply bases and an expanding cluster of British, Norwegian and Finnish oil, gas and marine service companies.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates that 68% of the remaining petroleum resources in Norway will be found in the Norwegian Barents Sea. By 2040 a majority of Norwegian oil and gas is expected to be produced in the North, says Storvik & Co, which is co-ordinating the Arctic Europe stand 3A170, featuring a group of companies with interest in the Arctic. With large finds and good productivity, these fields can be profitable, such as Statoil’s Johan Castberg, with a break even at US$35/barrel. Operational conditions may be different, but not difficult, says Storvik, and researchers are working on Arctic climate and survival technologies to secure safe work conditions. 

But more infrastructure and capacity will be needed, which has brought the group to SPE Offshore Europe. 

“Already the most advanced rigs and vessels working in the Arctic Europe region are mobilized from the UK and Aberdeen. British companies are already operating from bases in Northern Norway,” says Kare Storvik. 

“Arctic Europe regional industries, towns and ports are offering cooperation with partnerships, guidance in logistics, local conditions, available facilities, industrial parks, supply bases, industrial and port sites and short travelled work force.”

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