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Ærfugl project : Aker BP and partners to proceed with phase 2 development

Aker BP and its partners will move ahead with the second phase of the NOK 8 billion ($880 million) Ærfugl project (formerly Snadd field development) in the Norwegian Sea, three years ahead of the original start-up plan of 2023.

The Ærfugl field is located in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea, just west of the producing Skarv field, operated by Aker BP. The field comprises the Ærfugl and Outer Snadd discoveries and will produce through the Skarv FPSO.

According to Aker BP, the Ærfugl field will be one of the most profitable development projects on the Norwegian continental shelf with a break-even price of nearly $15 per barrel.

A final investment decision on the Ærfugl project phase 2 was taken by operator Aker BP and its partners Equinor, Wintershall DEA and PGNiG earlier this month. Aker BP said that the partners are targeting production from the first phase 2 well as early as H1 2020, which would mean that the phase 2 development will come online before the Ærfugl phase 1 development.

Kjetel Digre – SVP Operations & Asset Development in Aker BP said: “Acceleration of Ærfugl Phase 2 means earlier production and increased value creation from the field. This is good news for the Ærfugl joint venture, the supplier industry and the Norwegian society in the form of increased revenues.”

Ærfugl project will be tied into the Skarv FPSO

Illustration of the Ærfugl project in Norwegian Sea.

Illustration of the Ærfugl project in Norwegian Sea. Photo courtesy of Aker BP.

The Ærfugl project will be tied into the existing FPSO on the Skarv field, which is located nearly 210km west of Sandnessjøen.

The Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) for the two phases of the Ærfugl project was filed with the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in December 2017.

The first phase of the offshore Norwegian project will see the development of the southern portion of the Ærfugl field through the drilling of three new wells. The second phase will see the drilling of three more wells in the northern part of the Ærfugl field.

Originally, the start-up of Ærfugl phase 2 was 2023 because of capacity restrictions for processing gas on the Skarv FPSO.

Ine Dolve – Operations VP of Skarv field said: “In parallel with development of Ærfugl Phase 1, work has been proceeding to increase gas processing capacity on Skarv. Modification of the plant will contribute to an increased capacity by more than 15 per cent.

“We have as well optimized the phase 2 scope and will use existing infrastructure on Skarv for the first “phase 2 well”. Overall, this means that we are now ready to proceed with developing Phase 2.”

Ine Dolve further said that production from the Ærfugl project will help prolong the lifetime of Skarv FPSO.

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