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Under the leadership of CEO Helge Lund, Statoil is pushing the limits in deep water and harsh environments while at the same time setting the industry standard for environmental responsibility.
Statoil’s plans for 2010 include US $13 billion in capital expenditure, with $2.3 billion slated for exploration activity that includes approximately 50 wells.
The company estimates an equity production between 1.9 to 1.975 MMboe/d this year and has a stated goal of achieving equity production between 2.1 and 2.2 MMboe/d by 2012.
According to Helge Lund, Statoil CEO, the company is on target to reach its objectives. “We are positioned to continue our production growth towards 2012 despite the current weakness in the gas markets,” he said. “Statoil is now taking steps towards more industrialization and standardization on the NCS (Norwegian Continental Shelf) to reduce cost and lead time and, thereby, move resources into reserves in the most time- and cost-efficient way. Our ambition is to maintain the current level of production on the NCS for the next 10 years.”
To that end, the company plans to bring several new projects onstream, with startups scheduled toward the end of 2010. Morvin, Gjøa, Vega, Vega South, and Leismer Demo are all scheduled to start in 4Q 2010.
Lund, who assumed his role at Statoil from his position of CEO in Aker Kværner ASA, has been CEO of Statoil since August 2004.
According to Lund, there are four main business challenges that drive and motivate work within technological developments at Statoil:
• Resource replacement;
• Field developments in deepwater and harsh environments;
• Oil sand value chain (extra-heavy oil); and
• The climate challenge.
“Within the field of resource replacement,” Lund said, “we see that better drilling methods are making the single biggest contribution to improving recovery from the fields.” Because traditional drilling rigs are expensive for well intervention purposes, the company is developing a new type of well intervention vessel (Category B) to close the gap between light intervention vessels and the traditional drilling units. “This will reduce well intervention operations costs by up to 40%,” he said.
Managed pressure drilling is another area of importance in heavily depleted and/or high-pressure reservoirs. The technology has been applied on Kvitebjørn to maintain full well control. Three wells are contributing, with total projected reserves of 10 MMcm of oil equivalent. “These wells would not have been possible to drill without this technology,” Lund said.
Subsea advances are another critical enabling technology that will help Statoil pursue developments in deep water and harsh environments. “It makes us able to develop fields where traditional platforms are ‘impossible’ – where the waters are very deep or where there is ice,” Lund said. Marginal fields become economically profitable with subsea solutions and recovery.
Heavy and extra-heavy oils constitute an increasing share of Statoil’s portfolio. Though they add significant volume, these crudes bring with them new technological challenges. Statoil is investing in R&D to solve these challenges, according to Lund.
While technology is critical to achieving the company’s goals, preserving the environment is of paramount importance. Statoil wants to improve economy and recovery while reducing CO2 emissions, Lund said.
“The company is optimizing energy efficiency in all operations. This is probably the most profitable and efficient way of addressing the climate issue,” he said. Statoil also is developing carbon capture and storage projects, including some of the biggest in the world – Sleipner, In Salah, and Snøhvit.
Statoil also is a partner in developing the European Technology Centre. “We are generating emission reduction credits through clean development mechanisms and joint implementation projects,” he said.
According to Lund, climate change and a growing demand for clean energy are opening new business opportunities, and Statoil is on track to capitalize on them. “We will use our experience from offshore developments, reservoir management, project execution and technology capabilities, trading/retail, and carbon management to develop a profitable new energy business.”
The work being done today will set the standard for operations tomorrow, Lund said.
“Our industry is at the crossroads of two of the most pressing issues of our time: securing energy supply for a growing world population while addressing the climate challenge. Finding and developing sufficient oil and gas resources to meet growing demand is increasingly challenging. There is an urgent need for adequate and responsible solutions. We can find these by using the best available technology and the highest environmental and safety standards,” Lund said.