BP has announced the successful startup of production from its Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea.
The startup of Skarv on New Year's Eve meant BP met its deadline to bring the field into production by the end of 2012. There had been concerns earlier this year that the firm would not meet the December 2012 after a 16-day strike by Norwegian offshore workers in June that affected the development of the field.
The Skarv field is approximately 130 miles west of the Norwegian coast in water depths of up to 1,500 feet. Discovered in 1998, the field has an estimated ultimate recovery of around 100 million barrels of oil and condensate as well as 1.5 trillion cubic feet of rich gas, according to BP.
The field development includes a new highly-advanced floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel that was purpose-built for harsh waters, as well as five subsea drilling templates and a 50-mile, 26-inch gas export pipeline that is connected to the Gassled gas transportation system.
During the first six months of production, BP expects the field to ramp up to around 125,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day before achieving 165,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of the year.
BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley commented in a statement: "The start-up of Skarv is a key operational milestone for BP, adding new production from one of our core higher-margin areas."
A Statoil spokesman commented:
"We are happy to see that production has started on the BP operated Skarv field. Statoil is the largest partner with a 36.17-percent share in the field."
BP, the operator, holds a 23.84-percent stake in Skarv, while E.ON E&P Norge and PGNiG Norway hold 28.08 percent and 11.92 percent respectively.