The Johan Castberg field, in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway, has been a long time in development—an interesting project execution that has been looking at the best ways to reduce capital expenditures in oil exploration, focused in many ways on the technology and expertise throughout the supplier base.
The offshore oil field development project is based on three Statoil-operated discoveries: Skrugard in 2011, Havis in 2012 and Drivis in 2014. Along with its partners in the project, Statoil postponed the decision to continue until the second half of 2016, with expectations for an investment decision later this year.
As the first agreement for the project, covering front-end engineering and design (FEED), Statoil has made an arrangement with ABB for the safety and automation system. “We appreciate to be involved at such an early stage in the project,” said Per Erik Holsten, managing director for ABB’s oil, gas and chemical business. “Together with Statoil we can immediately develop standard design solutions using our world-class 800xA safety and automation system. The innovative approach streamlines project execution, and helps reduce capital expenditure.”
The agreement includes a right to order the actual system in the event of final investment decision. “For offshore fields like Johan Castberg located in the Barents Sea, having state-of-the-art safety and automation systems is absolutely critical,” Holsten said. “Possible future condition-based and predictive maintenance, and remote monitoring and operations may further reduce exposing humans and nature to risks. At the same time, such services may decrease the operational expenditures and increase productivity.”
Engineers from ABB in Norway are performing the FEED in close collaboration with Statoil. The FEED is scheduled to run until the fourth quarter this year, when the final investment decision will take place. Every onshore and offshore oil and gas facility above the Arctic Circle in Norway features safety and automation systems provided by ABB.
Johan Castberg has proven resources of 450 million to 650 million barrels of oil. It is expected to produce oil for more than 30 years at a value of 290 billion Norwegian krone (NOK, ~$35 billion).