Production has started on the first new Statoil-operated platform on the Norwegian Continental Shelf since 2005.
The Gudrun oil and gas field, in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, is also the first new to be operated by Statoil from the Stavanger region since Sleipner in 1993.
Image: The Gudrun platform. Photo from Statoil, by Harald Pettersen.
The high-pressure, high-temperature field, 55km north of Sleipner, in production license 025, was discovered in 1975. Statoil says a need for new drilling technology was one of the reasons why its reserves were left undeveloped until now. Available capacity in existing facilities and pipelines also aided the field economics.
Statoil expects to recover 184 million barrels of oil and gas (oil equivalent) from the field.
Gudrun has been developed using a production platform, with 42 cabins, on a steel jacket. The platform will produce from seven production wells, including Gudrun Øst, a discovery made after the plan for development and operation of the Gudrun field was submitted.
Oil and gas from Gudrun is sent to Sleipner, where it will be processed before the oil is sent on to the Kårstø onshore terminal and the gas to Europe, all through existing pipelines tied in to Sleipner. Modifications were carried out on Sleipner and at Kårstø as part of the Gudrun project.
The Gudrun investment decision was made during the financial crisis. When the plan for development and operation (PDO) was submitted in 2010, Gudrun was Statoil's only mega-project (investments in excess of NOK 12 billion).
"This is a red-letter day for the company," says Arne Sigve Nylund, Statoil's executive vice president for the Development and Production Norway business area. "Gudrun illustrates how we can maximize value creation and realize new projects on the Norwegian shelf by combining new field developments with existing pipelines and facilities.
"It's good to see a new field joining the old giants - Statfjord, Snorre and Sleipner. Later on, Gina Krog will also come to Operations South. This field will also be tied in to Sleipner - yet another win-win situation.”
The licensees in PL025 are Statoil (operator - 51%), GDF SUEZ E&P Norge (25%) and OMV Norge (24%).
The Gudrun jacket was built at Kværner Verdal, the living quarters by Apply Leirvik at Stord. Aibel was awarded the contract for constructing the deck, and built two of the modules in Thailand and one in Poland and Haugesund, where the deck was also assembled. The helicopter deck came from China and equipment packages comes from several countries.
112km of pipeline were laid, as well as a 55-km power cable on the seabed between Gudrun and Sleipner.
430,000m of cable have been laid and 2855 valves installed on the topsides.
The reservoir is 4200-4700m deep and originates from the Jurassic Age. The pressure in the reservoir is about 860 bar, with 150°C temperatures.