Production from another of Norway's old-timers, Statfjord A, could potentially shut down as early as 2014 according to operating plans under consideration by operator Statoil. The company recently circulated a consultative document based on that assumption, and outlining draft proposals to be included in an impact analysis before final plans for cessation and decommissioning are developed. A deadline of 12 weeks was given for feedback from central and local government authorities along with special interest groups with a view to releasing a final impact analysis for comments around the end of 2012.
Statfjord A is the oldest Statoil-operated platform on the Norwegian continental shelf. Since it came onstream in 1979 the company has extended its producing life by a number of years, raising overall field recovery above 70% in the process. As Dag Berg, vice president for Statfjord operations, puts it: ‘Statfjord A currently has a dual role. We are now planning platform shutdown at the same time as we are drilling new wells from the platform aimed at improving the field's oil recovery.
‘We already have some activities associated with decommissioning this year,' he adds. ‘The permanent plugging of four wells that have not been onstream for several years is planned. Additionally, we plan to remove one loading buoy no longer in use.' OE
Mature areas on offer
The deadline for submission of applications for Norway's 2011 ‘Awards in Predefined Areas' (APA) – the annual licensing round focusing on mature areas of the NCS – is noon on 14 September with new exploration and production licence awards expected late 2011/early 2012.
Norway's Ministry of Petroleum & Energy has expanded the predefined area this time, making available 62 new blocks or part blocks – 56 of them in the Norwegian Sea and six in the North Sea. ‘Through a large expansion of the area announced in this year's APA round, I wish to lay the foundation for a swift and efficient exploration of the ocean areas outside Nordland,' says minister of petroleum & energy Ola Borten Moe. ‘Our aim is increased exploration activity and rapid development of discoveries in the area.
‘With an efficient and tailor-made progress for the north-eastern part of the Norwegian Sea, the areas near Jan Mayen, and the unopened parts of the southern Barents Sea, the government has put forward a longterm program to ensure utilization of the Norwegian continental shelf over time,' he adds.
Updated maps of available blocks in North Sea and Norwegian Sea are available on the website of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.