Statoil gets go-ahead for Gudrun

Øystein Michelsen

Øystein Michelsen

The partners in the Gudrun licence resolved Feb. 18 to submit a plan for development and operation (PDO) of this North Sea discovery to the Norwegian authorities.

“The decision marks an important milestone in the continued development of this part of the Norwegian continental shelf,” says Øystein Michelsen.

“We’re pleased that work will now begin on recovering Gudrun’s assets,” he adds. Michelsen is executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway at field operator Statoil.

A unanimous licence partnership has approved the submission of the PDO and the award of the first major contract, covering construction of a steel jacket for the production platform.

Investment in field installations, pipelines and drilling of production wells will total almost NOK 21 billion in money of the day.

“It’s positive that our partners have unanimously supported an important decision,” says Michelsen. “It’s been a long process, but I’d praise everyone involved for their commitment to finding a good integrated solution.”

Plans call for Gudrun to be developed with a platform for partial processing and export of the field’s oil and gas.

The platform will rest on a traditional steel jacket weighing 7,100 tonnes, to be built by Aker Solutions under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

Worth about NOK 450 million, this job has been awarded after an international tendering process based on technical and commercial criteria.

The work will primarily be done in Aker Verdal.

Other major assignments to be awarded include:

  • construction of the topsides with processing facilities
  • living quarters
  • modification work on Sleipner A
  • heavy lifting and installation
  • pipeline fabrication and laying
  • drilling.

Invitations to tender will be issued in the near future, with the contracts due to be awarded at a later date.

Basis for further development

Gudrun contains some 132 million barrels of oil equivalent, with crude accounting for about two-thirds of the amount. High reservoir pressure and temperature call for special technology.

Statoil has already developed and implemented such solutions, not least on its Kvitebjørn and Kristin projects in other parts of the NCS.

“Gudrun was originally discovered in 1974,” Michelsen notes. “Today’s solution builds on the availability of tested technology for high pressure and temperature fields.”

“It also utilises spare capacity in existing infrastructure. And the platform and transport solution adopted here provides a good basis for developing other oil and gas fields in the area,” says Michelsen.

Gudrun in brief

  • North Sea oil and gas field in production licence 025, about 55 kilometres north of the Sleipner installations
  • Licensees in PL 025: Statoil (operator) 46.8%, Marathon Petroleum 28.2% and GdF Suez 25%
  • The field is being developed with a steel production platform
  • Equipped for partial stabilisation of oil and gas
  • Living quarters with 40 cabins
  • Transport of oil and gas to Sleipner A
  • Power supplied by cable from Sleipner East
  • The development plan has a total price tag of about NOK 21 billion
  • Oil and gas will be produced from a Jurassic reservoir
  • The reservoir lies in 4,200-4,700 metres of water, and has a pressure of up to 820 bar
  • The platform will have 16 well slots. Plans call for seven production wells. The other slots can be used for additional drilling to boost recovery from Gudrun or for wells from other fields.
  • Production is scheduled to begin in 2014.

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