Norway's Equinor oil company (formerly known as Statoil) said Friday that it would 'almost double the remaining resources' in the Fram field in North Sea with three new wells.
'Fram license partners decided to invest more than NOK 1 billion ($123.1 million) in a new gas module on Troll C, and now they have decided to drill three new wells on the field for NOK 1.9 billion (approx. $234 million),' a press release said.
The three wells will provide 70 million new barrels of oil and gas with the help of a higher gas processing capacity on Troll C, according to the statement, which said the wells would represent net earnings that at current prices would create a value of NOK 18 billion ($2.2 billion).
Equinor said the installation preparations for the gas module started early in May, and the installation work on the platform would start in June.
The new gas module is expected to become operational in fall 2019, and will enable accelerated recovery of resources in the Fram area, which has previously been limited by the Troll C gas processing capacity, the statement said.
It noted that the three wells to be drilled in the Fram field would reuse three well slots that were in use earlier, thereby eliminating the need for new subsea installations.
'Since we will reuse our subsea installations we will curb costs and thereby achieve high project profitability,' said Gunnar Nakken, head of the operations west cluster.
'By developing the Fram field, we will almost double the remaining recoverable reserves and extend the life of the Fram installations,' he added.
According to the statement, the field life was originally estimated to last until 2023, with the license period expiring in 2024.
'The new wells will extend field production to 2030 or longer, and may be extended further by the development plans for the area', it said, adding the Fram partners had applied to the Norway's Ministry of Oil and Energy to extend the license period to 2040.
Scheduled to start at the turn of 2019, drilling of the three wells will take around one year.
Fram is an oil and gas field in the northern part of the North Sea, located around 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Troll. Water depth in the area is about 350 meters (0.2 mile).
Discovered in 1990, the Fram field came on stream in 2003, and has so far yielded a good return with total earnings of NOK 110 billion ($13.5 billion), according to the statement.
The license partners are Equinor (45 percent), ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway (25 percent), Neptune Energy AS (15 percent), and Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (15 percent).
By Hale Turkes