40 years of Valhall – aiming for 2060
The Valhall field came on stream on 1 October 1982, with a goal of 250 million barrels. But at this point, more than 1.1 billion barrels have been produced from the area. Our ambition is to reach two billion barrels over the next 40 years.
"The Valhall development is characterised by a continuous mission to seek out new, more efficient ways to recover oil and gas, and at the same time, a strong determination among the owners to further develop the area. The result is both technology development and value creation that hardly anyone could imagine when the field started producing 40 years ago," says Aker BP CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik.
"But this isn't the end of the story: Through new development projects, new wells, digital technology and new ways to operate, Valhall is going to produce oil and gas with very low emissions and simultaneously create substantial values for owners and the broader society for decades to come," Hersvik adds.
Exploring, drilling, developing …
Licence 006 was awarded in 1968, and Valhall discovered in 1975. When the plan for development and operation (PDO) was submitted in 1977, the estimate was 247 million producible barrels from the chalk reservoir about 2,500 metres down in the subsurface.
The development of new seismic and well technology, alongside virtually continuous drilling, has been essential for the further development of the field. Among other things, Valhall was the first field to install seismic equipment on the seabed for high-precision annual surveys.
At the same time, continuous investments have been made in new platforms, both at the field centre and wellhead platforms to the north, west, south and on the Hod field, all remotely operated from Valhall. The latest addition was Hod B, which came on stream in April this year.
The three original platforms from when the field started up in 1982 – living quarters platform, drilling platform and process platform – have been shut down and transported ashore for further disposal. Close to 100 per cent of the platforms and steel jackets will be recycled.
Oil pioneer with record-low emissions
In 2013, Valhall became the world's first field centre to transition from producing with power from gas compressors offshore, to receiving all power from shore. Electrification results in annual CO2 emission reductions of more than 300,000 tonnes, and NOx emission reductions of 250 tonnes from the field centre.
In connection with plugging wells from the original drilling platform (DP), the Maersk Invincible became the first mobile drilling rig in the world to operate using power from shore, via electricity from the Valhall field centre. This contributed to a reduction in annual local CO2 emissions of more than 15,000 tonnes.
The DP wells was also plugged six years earlier and more than five billion kroner cheaper than originally planned. This was the result of developing new world-leading technology in close cooperation with passionate suppliers.
Full steam ahead with new platform and new tieback
The Valhall field in the southernmost part of the North Sea is not only a reflection of the history of Norwegian petroleum activities, it also represents the future:
Before the end of the year, Aker BP will be submitting the plan for development and operation (PDO) for both a new, combined process and wellhead platform at the field centre (Valhall PWP), as well as for the Fenris field (formerly King Lear), which will be tied back to the new platform at the field centre.
"Valhall PWP-Fenris will extend Valhall's lifetime by another 40 years. The project is contributing both toward establishing a southern gas hub to secure gas for Europe, as well as a significant increase in oil recovery from the Valhall field. This is the most important stepping stone toward our goal of producing two billion barrels from the Valhall area," says Valhall Asset Manager Ole Johan Molvig.
With a cost framework of 40 – 50 billion kroner, this development project is one of the largest upcoming projects on the Norwegian shelf over the next few years. The project is projected to provide 65,000 Norwegian full-time equivalents in overall employment, while also creating substantial values for both the owners and broader society leading up to 2060.