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    Norway's Equinor to Redevelop Fram


Norway's Fram field partners are to drill three new wells, which should yield 70mn extra boe of reserves, much of it gas.

by: Mark Smedley

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Norway's Equinor to Redevelop Fram

Partners in the Fram field offshore Norway are investing some $270mn (kroner 2.9bn) in drilling three new wells on the field, and in adding a new gas module at the Troll C platform, said operator Equinor (formerly Statoil) May 25.

The Fram oil and gas field is in the northern part of Norway's North Sea, 20 km north of Troll. The three wells on Fram will yield 70mn extra barrels of oil equivalent – much of it gas – thanks to higher gas processing capacity on Troll C, the company said, and will almost double Fram's remaining reserves. Most of Fram's oil has already been recovered, so the remaining reserves will have a high share of gas.

Last autumn the Fram licence partners decided to invest more than kroner 1bn in the new Troll C gas module. Now they have decided to drill three new wells on the field for kroner 1.9bn. Work to install the module on the platform will begin next month and the module is expected to start up in autumn 2019.

Drilling the three wells will take around one year, starting late 2018/early 2019. Equinor also said May 25 that a contract to drill those three, and another three on the Askeladd field in the Barents Sea, has been awarded to Norway's Odfjell, using its Deepsea Atlantic semi-submersible drillrig, for some $150mn-$200mn for the six wells combined.

The three new Fram wells will represent net earnings that at current prices will create value of a total of kroner 18bn, said Equinor. Since it came onstream, Fram revenues to date have been kroner 110bn. The field's life was originally estimated to last until 2023, and the licence will expire in 2024. The new wells will extend field production at least to 2030, so the partners have applied for an extension out to 2040. New seismic data of the Fram area have been gathered, and Equinor and the partners are working on identifying new exploration opportunities and reassessing existing prospects.

Partners are operator Equinor 45%, ExxonMobil 25%, with the UK's Neptune Energy and Japan's Idemitsu Petroleum each with 15%. The field is now expected to produce almost 70% more reserves than first estimated in the Fram development plan (PDO).