Pay day for Eni's Goliat nears

August 20, 2015

Italy's Eni is close to starting producing from Norway's first Arctic oil development, reports Reuters.

Production from the Goliat field, estimated to hold about 178 MMboe, was originally expected to start in 4Q 2013, but the project has been beset with delays and cost overruns.

When the field comes on stream, Goliat will become the world's northernmost producing offshore oil field.

The Sevan-design, 107m-diameter, 64,000-tonne cylindrical FPSO built for the project arrived in Norway in April this year from Hyundai Heavy Industries' yard in South Korea.

Delivery of the FPSO had been due in 2014, but in May last year, Eni said that conditions to depart at the end of June 2014, and complete commissioning in Norway in 4Q 2014, were not in place.

The platform will be supplied with electrical power from the mainland using the longest submarine cable of its type in the world.

The oil will be stored on a floating production platform and offloaded to shuttle tankers for exports, while the associated gas will be reinjected.

The Goliat FPSO has been specially designed and constructed to adapt to the long winter nights and icing hazards typical of the Barents Sea. The platform is fully winterized and designed to withstand 100-year Barents Sea storm conditions. Innovative technologies have been developed in a number of areas, not only to reduce the risks to personnel and the environment, but also to enable the platform to deal with any emergency response situations.

Once in production, the Goliat platform will be manned by about 40 people. The field will be operated from Hammerfest, where Eni Norge has established a 60-strong operations organization. It has been important for Eni Norge to generate industrial spin-offs in northern Norway. This has been achieved by requiring suppliers to establish a local presence and offices in Hammerfest. The result is that as many as 50 companies with bases in Hammerfest have been involved in the supply of goods and services to the Goliat project.

According to Reuters, the project costs surged to NOK 46.7 billion (US$5.62 billion) from an original estimate of around NOK 30 billion in 2009, when the development plan was approved, but some other developments offshore Norway saw cost overruns as well.

Operator ENI has a 65% stake in the field, while its partner Statoil holds the remaining 35%. 

Image: The Goliat FPSO. Photo from Eni. 



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