NCS: Green light for Ærfugl Phase 2Skrav area. Source: Aker BP

NCS: Green light for Ærfugl Phase 2

The Ærfugl partners have decided to proceed with Phase 2 of the Ærfugl project in the Norwegian Sea, three years ahead of the original plan (2023).

The Ærfugl field (formerly Snadd), which produces via Skarv FPSO, is one of the most profitable development projects on the Norwegian shelf. According to Aker BP, the Ærfugl development is a major subsea project in two phases.

Skrav area overview. Source: Aker BP

Phase 1, which develops the southern part of the Ærfugl field, consists of three new wells. Phase 2 consists of an additional three wells in the northern part of the field.

Ærfugl development plan. Source: Aker BP

The final investment decision (DG3) for Ærfugl Phase 2 was approved in early November by all partners (Aker BP – operator, Equinor, Wintershall DEA and PGNiG).

The goal is to start production from the first Phase 2 well as early as in first half of 2020. This means that production start-up for phase 2 will come before the start-up of Ærfugl phase 1!

Skrav production to be boosted by Ærfugl. Source: Aker BP

“In parallel with development of Ærfugl Phase 1, work has been proceeding to increase gas processing capacity on Skarv. Modification of the plant will contribute to an increased capacity by more than 15 per cent,” says VP Operations Skarv, Ine Dolve.

“We have as well optimized the phase 2 scope and will use existing infrastructure on Skarv for the first “phase 2 well”. Overall, this means that we are now ready to proceed with developing Phase 2,” she says and adds that production from Ærfugl will help extend the lifetime of Skarv FPSO.

Total investment costs for the Ærfugl project are around NOK 8 billion, being one of the most profitable development projects on the Norwegian shelf with a break-even price of around USD 15 per barrel (converted from gas).

The project holds a total of around 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The Ærfugl reservoir, Cretaceous Lysing Formation. is mainly a gas reservoir that extends over 60 km and is 2-3 km wide.

According to a report from Westwood Energy (Advances in Exploration Technology and Geosciences – Past and Future on the NCS, 2018), the stratigraphic trap within a submarine fan that infills the remaining post-rift relief in an originally sediment-starved rift.

In the creation of the onlap pinch-out edge of the Ærfugl field, the pre-existing basin topography, in particular the Skarv fault block, was influential in determining the location of the pinch-out. The thicker sediments basinward of the fault block compacted more than the thinner section over the structure, subtly providing more accommodation space for sand deposition and setting up the pinch-out towards the high.

NW–SE regional 2D seismic crosssection across the Møre Basin, Norwegian Sea, illustrating synrift stratigraphy and onlapping ‘wedge’ of post-rift strata. Source: Advances in Exploration Technology and Geosciences – Past and Future on the NCS report, 2018

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