The first oil from the Barents Sea

Goliat is the first oil discovery to be developed in the Barents Sea. The operator Eni Norge is scheduled to start operations on the field in 2015, and the field is expected to produce for at least 15 years.

The field is located 50 kilometres southeast of the Snøhvit field and barely 50 kilometres from the coast. The decision was made in June 2009 to develop the field with a floating production and storage vessel (FPSO).

The reservoir is shallow and complicated, and has low temperature and pressure. Subsea development with landing has been considered, but the reservoir was too small, and the oil too difficult to transport.

The gas from Goliat will be injected in the reservoir from start-up of the field. It may be relevant to export the gas at a later date.

Roald Sæter, geologist in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate with responsibility for following up fields in the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea, characterises Goliat as a “fairly large field” with an infrastructure that will be significant for the development of new oil discoveries in the areas.

He points out that oil and gas has been discovered in the surrounding area, and that some of these discoveries may be interesting as regards tie-in to Goliat. In this connection he mentioned the Tornerose discovery, which contains both oil and gas, and the Nucula oil discovery.

According to Sæter, there is also an interesting undiscovered potential in the APA area in the Barents Sea.

“The Barents Sea has a much more long-term perspective as regards resource development than the other areas on the Norwegian shelf, and the Barents Sea North has yet to be opened for exploration activity,” says Sæter.

The NPD’s responsibility moving forward will be to e.g. ensure that it is possible to phase in new discoveries to the Goliat infrastructure. The field will most likely have the capacity to tie-in new oil discoveries starting in 2018.

Goliat was scheduled to start operations in 2013, but due to challenges in the engineering and construction processes, the storage and production facility (FPSO) is now scheduled for installation on the field in the spring of 2015.

Goliat is presumed to contain 174 million barrels of oil, and Eni is planning to invest NOK 28 billion in the development. Goliat is the first field to be operated by Eni on the Norwegian shelf, and the company has an ownership interest of 65 per cent in the production licence. Statoil’s ownership interest is 35 per cent.