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Xcite Bentley to inspire Statoil Bressay project in UK North Sea

Statoil at the drawing board to save costs on Bressay

The Norwegian State-owned company Statoil and its partner, the Royal Dutch Shell (Shell), are considering all options in order to reduce costs for the development of the heavy crude oil offshore project, Bressay, in the UK North Sea.

In November 2013, while Statoil and Shell were expected to make the final investment decision, they in fact stepped back from that phase in the light of the first experiences acquired by the junior company Xcite Energy Resources Limited (Xcite or XER) from the similar field Bentley only eight kilometers away from Bressay.

Statoil_Bressay_and_Bentley_MapLocated 160 kilometers from the Shetland Islands, these heavy crude oil fields are concentrated together with Statoil Mariner and Enquest Kraken in the middle of the North Sea along the boarder with the Norwegian territorial waters.

In Bressay, Statoil and Shell are sharing the working interests in such a way:

 – Statoil 81.625% is the operator

 – Shell 18.375%

Discovered in 1976 for Bressay and in 1977 for Bentley, these fields were left undeveloped because of the challenging conditions of these 10 to 12 degree API heavy crude oil fields and associated sour gas.

Among these heavy crude oil projects of this area of the North Sea, Bressay is recognized as one of the most challenging for which Statoil and Shell mobilized all the lost advanced technologies.

As a result, when Statoil and Shell decided to stop Bressay development on its first concept, the project was estimated to cost between $6  and $7 billion capital expenditure.

Statoil and Shell to phase up Bressay development 

With Mariner and Bressay, Statoil would have originated the largest projects in the UK North Sea.

But the first solutions tested by Xcite on the neighboring Bentley fields motivated Statoil and Shell to rethink their concept for Bressay.

With 257 millions barrels of recoverable crude oil (2P), Bentley is very similar to Bressay estimated to hold between 200 and 300 million barrels of recoverable reserves of crude oil.

Because of the nature of heavy crude oil in these fields, the production process developed by the companies is rather complex in order to optimize the recovery rate of these fields.

Statoil_Bressay_Platform_Previous_ConceptTypically these projects will require:

 – Chemicals and diluents injection

 – Risers and flowlines heating 

– Oil and gas separation

 – Water treatment

 – Demulsifier

The accumulation of all these processes have a direct impact on the weight of the topsides and the definition of the structure to support them.

In Bressay, Statoil was considering a single large platform, similar to Mariner, while in Bentley Xcite is combining a Sevan-type floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel together with an Arup steel frame platform for production.

Xcite_Bentley_Teekay-Sevan_FSO_Amec-Arup_PlatformThese differences in the concept are mostly related to the different methods of extracting the crude oil at the down hole. 

In addition, the designed selected by Xcite provides all the flexibility to develop the field in phases, whereas the FSO remains all along the full development while the production unit can be adapted or even replaced at any time to the production goals and constraints.

With this new concept and costs revised downward, Statoil and Shell are expecting to sanction the Bressay phase-1 project in UK North Sea by 2016.

For more information and data about oil and gas and petrochemical projects go to Project Smart Explorer

1 Comment to “Xcite Bentley to inspire Statoil Bressay project in UK North Sea”

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