Norwegian authorities granted Shell Norske permission to operate the Draugen field for a short period beyond its expected lifetime.
But, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) was not able to give consent for Shell to use the Draugen facilities beyond 2024, until the firm’s license for the field is renewed beyond that date. Shell intends to apply for a license extension on the field, so it can continue operating it into the 2030s.
The Draugen oil field, discovered in 1984, 150km north of Kristiansund, was developed using a fixed concrete facility with an integrated deck and has been producing since 1993.
It was originally expected to reach the end of its life in 2010, a date which has since already been extended to 2013. Shell now expects the field to last for at least another 20 years, however, taking it to beyond 2036.
Part of the field’s success has been about increasing the recovery factor, from an initial expected 17%, to closer to 70% today, a figure far higher than the average 46% in Norway. This has been achieved by active reservoir management, asset manager Odin Estensen told OE back in 2013, including pressure support, repeat seismic surveys to plan well placing and understand reservoir dynamics, subsea production and asset maintenance.
In a statement this morning, Norway’s PSA says: “Shell believes there are grounds for producing from Draugen after the production license expires in 2023 and wishes to apply to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to extend the production license. However, the PSA is unable to grant consent for operations beyond the term of the current production license. Shell has therefore received consent to extend the lifetime of the Draugen facility to 9 March 2023.”
Shell's Draugen platform. Image from Shell. Read more: