26JAN 2017

Drilling in Norway

Statoil ASA, the Norwegian state oil company, which controls about 70% of the total produced in Norway oil and gas and the Italian company ENI brought into production the Goliath platform. It is the most northern offshore oil platform in the world. And this is the first attempt to start the development of oil fields in the Norwegian part of the Barents Sea. Despite low oil prices in the world, the project was launched. It was expected that the project will bring a profit if the oil price will be not less than $95 per barrel.

Reducing of costs is always difficult, but for the Norwegian oil industry, thrift and savings resulted to increased production volume. According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the company implemented a number of improvements and optimized all processes, starting with costs reduction and more faster methods of drilling and also the regularity of drilling platforms operation was increased. As a result, over the past two years, the volume of production increased by 85 thous. Barrels a day more than expected. Industry regulator raised its forecast production for the period from 2017 to 2020 by 8%, i.e. an average of 110 thous. Barrels per day.

This is equivalent to the levels of production in 2015 of the third largest in the North Sea Snorre field, and almost as much as extracted in the significant for Norway Ekofisk field, which started the oil era in the country. In the next two years, according to forecasts, investments in the Norwegian oil industry will decrease, but the cost savings and efficiency - is a big plus and a good cause for optimism for the largest oil exporter in the Western Europe. Over the past two years the company managed to cut estimates of seven major projects in half.

Drilling wells (in Romanian Foraje Puturi) in the fields suggests that companies focus on maintaining performance, and it is bearing fruit. It's all about cost. Statoil ASA has reduced the time required to drill a well, by 40% and reduced costs by 30%. Last year, the company drilled 119 wells (as planned - 113). In 2015, the number of new wells reached 115 against the expected 95. The realized optimization and improvement had made the business. The company began to better plan, work more efficiently, simplify the design of wells.

The volume of gas production in 2016 also exceeded forecasts by 10% and remained almost unchanged in comparison with the record reached in 2015 at 117 billion cubic meters. NPD has raised its forecast for gas production of the period from 2017 to 2020 by 4%. That sort of approach to the drilling of new wells allows the Norwegian oil company to look confidently to the future.

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