The first six months of 2020 saw a higher produced volume of hydrocarbons than the same period last year.
According to an NPD press release, total NCS production for the first six months of 2020 totalled 115.2 MSm3 or 725 mmboe. Despite the agreed cut in production of 250,000 barrels a day, this is still 5.7 MSm3 or 35 mmboe higher than the total production in the first six months of 2019. The explanation for this is the Johan Sverdrup field starting full production in spring this year.
In another press release, the NPD summarises activity on the Continental Shelf over the past six months. For example, the number of development wells drilled this year equals 84, which is about the same level of drilling activity as observed last year. NPD’s Director for Development and Operations, Kalmar Ildstad said: “The companies are doing good work to create value on the fields. This work must continue, fields must be operated efficiently – the companies also have to develop, test and utilise new technology to improve recovery and cut emissions.”
On the 30th of June, 88 fields were in production of which 66 are situated in the North Sea, 20 in the Norwegian Sea and two in the Barents Sea. Two new fields came onstream so far this year; Skogul in the North Sea and Ærfugl in the Norwegian Sea. Both fields (operated by Aker BP) are tie-backs to existing fields, developed through subsea infrastructure. Skogul produces via the Vilje field into the Alvheim production and storage vessel, whilst Ærfugl is tied to the Skarv FPSO.
Eighteen development projects are being worked on at the moment, of which some are redevelopments of existing fields, such as the Troll phase 3 project, but others are completely new fields such as Fenja in the Norwegian Sea, where development drilling is currently ongoing. The smallest development is the Hanz field, with estimated reserves of 2.8 MSm3 or 17.6 mmboe. The Hanz field is located north of Ivar Aasen. Spirit Energy is currently drilling the Sørvesten prospect located in between Hanz and Ivar Aasen.
So far this year, the Norwegian authorities have received three development plans: the partial electrification of Sleipner, the redevelopment of Hod and the Northern Lights CCS project. With some developments being time-constrained because of access to ageing infrastructure, it is hoped that with a recovery in oil price an uptake in development sanctions will be seen. In the end of the day, there are still around 100 discoveries that are being evaluated.