More focus on improved oil recovery
12/11/2008 Oil production from the Norwegian shelf is declining – while demand continues to grow in global oil markets. We must extract more oil from the fields in operation to offset this trend.
This is what NPD Director General Bente Nyland said in her presentation at the seminar on improved oil recovery held in Stavanger on 12 November.
The seminar entitled "More to recover – what's stopping us?" is organised by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) and FORCE, the industry's cooperative forum for exploration and improved recovery. Decision-makers in the oil industry make up the target group.
The estimated average recovery rate for oil from Norwegian fields, including improved plans, is currently 46 per cent. This means that more than half of the oil will be left in the ground, unless we work harder to improve this.
There are substantial remaining oil resources in the fields which provide many opportunities for additional value creation. However, we could run out of options on several of the large fields if we don't make these decisions in time.
Although much good work is already being done to improve the recovery rate, the oil companies can still do even better, in part by testing and using new production technology.
The NPD wants to use FORCE as a tool for achieving greater focus and a stronger commitment to technologies than can further boost oil recovery rates.
"The NPD believes that maximum recovery from already producing fields, as long as it is prudent from a socioeconomic and safety perspective, is one of the most important tasks on the Norwegian shelf," Nyland emphasised.
She also repeated the authorities' goal of increasing oil reserves by five billion barrels during the period 2005-2015.
Estimates indicate that about three-fourths of these volumes must come in the form of additional resources from fields that are currently in operation.
Improved oil recovery – can we afford to ignore it, are we making the right decisions in time, do we have the technology, are we managing gas resources correctly, and what does the Petroleum Act say? These are just a few of the questions that are discussed at the seminar.
Other speakers included Robin Martin Kåss (state secretary in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy), Jens Hagen (director of reserves and plans in StatoilHydro), Jan Rosnes (director of projects and strategy in Petoro), Grete Block Vagle (reservoir manager for Valhall in BP), Rune Hope (geoscience manager in Total), Robert Skrede (head of strategic projects in ConocoPhillips), Stein Rune Jacobsen (responsible for the IOR study on Snorre, StatoilHydro) and Berit Tennbakk (senior economist in Econ Pöyry).