Go-ahead for 'late-life' gas field

The Norwegian government has given the go-ahead to a plan to extend the life of a gas field in which Centrica has a stake.

A £12.5 billion ‘late-life’ development of the Statfjord field in the Norwegian section of the North Sea will keep it onstream until 2020.

Installations on the field will be converted from producing oil with associated gas to recovering gas with associated oil. That involves changing the drainage strategy to low-pressure production to recover the remaining gas in the reservoir.

Additional recoverable volumes are estimated at 32 billion cubic metres of gas, 25 million barrels of oil and 60 million barrels of condensate. These quantities alone correspond to a medium-sized discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Another £125 million will be spent on the associated Tampen Link gas pipeline, which will tie Statfjord into the St Fergus terminal in Scotland.

Centrica has a 4.48 per cent stake in Statfjord (33.33 per cent of the UK side of Statfjord), which straddles the UK and Norwegian sectors. The field celebrated 25 years on stream in November 2004 and has already yielded four billion barrels of oil and generated more than £84 billion in revenues.

The modification will involve roughly three million working hours offshore and three million engineering hours on land. It will take about four years to complete.