Bergen, Norway 11 – 13 June, 2019

Subsea up to the challenge?

Subsea technology and developments have been essential to unlocking the Norwegian subsea industry, but it is being challenged by alternative solutions and needs to up its game to thrive in the future, a senior Statoil executive told the Underwater Technology Conference in Bergen.

Image: The challenger – the Oseberg Westflank II unmanned wellhead platform. Image from Statoil.

Arne Sigve Nylund, EVP development and production, Statoil, said: “Subsea has been essential when it comes to developing the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It started with a modest subsea well in the 1980s and gathered pace through the 1990s. Now subsea developments are 50% of production. 536 subsea wells have been drilled and I think that’s amazing. In the last year alone Statoil has put two ground breaking projects in operation at Asgard and Gullfaks. There has been some small challenges with the latter one and we are working to resolve that with the industry [an umbilical failure meant the systems have had to be removed temporarily].”

However, rising subsea development costs have meant operators have been looking at alternatives, such as unmanned well heads for the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Indeed, this week, Statoil’s plan for an unmanned wellhead platform for the Oseberg Westflank II project was approved by Norwegian authorities. Statoil has been clear that this has been an alternative to a subsea development.

Nylund said: “There are challenges to subsea. But, front runners needs something breathing down their neck. The current market conditions have made the need to be more cost effective even more urgent.”



Read the full article, published at OE digital 17 June HERE


Written by Elaine Maslin