Norway: Total’s Atla Field Comes On Stream

Total announces the start-up of its Atla gas condensate field in the Norwegian North Sea. Atla was brought into production two years after completion of exploration drilling.

The Atla field is part of the PL102C license and is located in block 25/5. Partners are Total E&P Norge 40% (operator), Petoro 30%, Centrica 20% and Det Norske 10%. The field was developed subsea with a tieback to the existing Skirne/Byggve subsea system, operated by Total, which is connected to the Heimdal host platform located 24 kilometers southwest. The Atla field is expected to produce gas at an average flow rate of 14,000 boe/d including 2,500 b/d of condensates in 2013.

Commenting on the start-up of the field, Patrice de Viviès, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration & Production for Northern Europe, said: “The Atla discovery was made in October 2010, in the frame of our near-by exploration program. The fast track development was completed within budget and schedule and will have a very quick return. It is a good example of Total’s expertise in maximizing value of mature assets by combining exploration and development forces”.

Total in Norway

Since the late 1960s, the Total Group has played a major role in development of a large number of Norwegian fields, notably Frigg and Heimdal. Norway was the largest contributor to the Group’s equity production in 2011 with 287,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day. Total held interests in 90 production licenses in offshore Norway, 22 as operator.

In the first semester 2011 the developments of the Ekofisk South and Ekofisk ll fields were launched, in which Total has a 39.9% interest. Each development has a production capacity of 70,000 boe per day and production start-up is expected in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

In January 2012, Total submitted the PDO for the Martin Linge field, a stand-alone field development planned to come on stream in Q4 2016. The PDO was approved by the Storting (Norwegian Parliament) in June 2012.

In 2011, Total made two promising discoveries as operator. The first is on Norvarg in the Barents Sea, with reserves that could reach up to 300 million boe; the second is on Alve North in the Norwegian Sea close to existing infrastructure. Appraisal of both discoveries is being planned.

In the 2011 (APA) Licensing Round, announced on 17 January 2012, Total was granted interests in an additional eight licenses in the Norwegian North Sea, including five as operator.

Press Release, October 08, 2012; Image: FMC Technologies

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The subsea industry has, as all other parts of the oil & gas industry, been seriously rattled by the most severe downturn in the hydrocarbon energy era. However, the realization of what hit us and actions to be taken to sustain a healthy and profitable future is still on-going – unfortunately with thousands of colleagues paying the price by losing their job as one of the most severe consequences. At this time, there are signs that we have reached bottom in terms of most industry indicators, but few experts expect a sharp recovery. Many seem to believe that a slow recovery is what the industry needs in order to avoid an unsustainable capacity build-up, as seen in the period after the financial crisis. Considering the uncertainty of what the future will bring, this year’s UTC Program Committee have decided to challenge all of us to present ideas, experiences, technological innovations, business models and execution models for how to shape our subsea future and explain how and why subsea is the future.
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