Permanent reservoir monitoring to help Statoil achieve 70% Sverdrup recovery

Johan Sverdrup field illustration: Image: Statoil

Statoil has awarded a contract for permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM) on the Johan Sverdrup field that it says will be a key contributor to making the field one of the most productive in the world.

Alcatel Submarine Networks will provide the seismic technology – a potential digital enabler for the field – to help Statoil meet its goal of 70 per cent recovery.

Statistics from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate show that average recovery from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), already high by world standards, is at 46 per cent.

With 380 kilometres of fibre optic seismic cables installed on the seabed and more than 6,500 acoustic sensors covering an area of more than 120 square kilometres, Johan Sverdrup will have one of the largest fibre optic seismic systems of its kind.

For the first time on any field on the NCS, the seismic technology will be in place ready to optimize production in time for start-up, said Statoil. The seismic cables will be installed on the seabed of Johan Sverdrup during 2019.

Digital enabler for improved recovery

With PRM, seismic sensors are permanently embedded into the seabed, which enables more frequent and much improved seismic images of changes in the reservoir. The system on Johan Sverdrup will use optical fibre technology that allows for continuous recording of changes in the subsurface.

The significant data generated by the system is considered a key input to enable Statoil to deliver on its digital roadmap for the field.

“We see great potential with PRM on Johan Sverdrup in terms of improved visualization, modelling and eventually also predictive analytics,” Eli Eikje, head of petroleum technology for Johan Sverdrup, said in a statement. “This should give us improved precision in our well locations, help us better control production and injection, but should also contribute with information about the condition of wells and subsea infrastructure – which is critical for a field with a 50-year lifespan.”

Statoil has previous experience with PRM on the Snorre and Grane fields, also on the NCS.

“The NCS is world leading in terms of resource recovery. Johan Sverdrup is drawing on the experiences of giants like Statfjord, Gullfaks, Oseberg, Snorre og Troll. And PRM will lay the foundation for future recovery initiatives such as infill wells, water and gas injection, but also in the area of digitalization,” added Kjetel Digre, project director for Johan Sverdrup.

One of the five biggest oil fields on the NCS, with expected recoverable resources of between two and three billion barrels of oil equivalent, Johan Sverdrup will be one of the most important industrial projects in Norway over the next 50 years. Phase 1 of the multiphase development is expected to start up in late 2019 with production capacity estimated at 440,000 barrels of oil per day.

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