Grane platform in the Norwegian Sea, operated by Statoil

Grane platform in the Norwegian Sea, operated by Statoil

Optimizing Increased Recovery

An international energy company with operations in 34 countries, Statoil is founded on more than 35 years of experience from oil and gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and is committed to accommodating the world’s energy needs in a responsible manner, applying technology and creating innovative business solutions.

Headquartered in Norway, Statoil has 20,000 employees worldwide, and is listed on the New York and Oslo stock exchanges.

A pioneer in the oil industry where creating workable solutions for vulnerable areas is concerned, Statoil has clearly demonstrated their ability to balance different concerns and establish a basis for co-existence with the environment, local communities and traditional industries.

Statoil’s history is peppered with technology breakthroughs that have allowed the company to operate in ever greater water depths. During more than 35 years on the Norwegian continental shelf, Statoil has moved from an initial 70-90 metres of water into even greater depths, and is now drilling in deeper parts than anyone previously thought would be possible.

Statoil’s Journey

Statoil, the Norwegian State Oil Company was founded in 1972, and two years later the Statfjord field was discovered in the North Sea.

Statoil CEO Helge Lund

Statoil CEO Helge Lund

In 1979, the Statfjord field commenced production, and in 1981 Statoil was the first Norwegian company to be given operator responsibility for a field, at Gullfaks in the North Sea.

In 2007 Statoil merged with Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas division. The new company was given the temporary name of StatoilHydro, and the new company reached a size and strength for considerable international expansion. The company changed its name back to Statoil on 1 November 2009.

Statoil has been one of the most important players in the Norwegian oil industry, and has contributed strongly to make Norway into a modern industrial nation. Today, Norway is one of the world’s most productive petroleum provinces and a test lab for technology development.

Heavy oil reserves

The world’s reserves of extremely thick oils or “heavy oils” are probably twice as large as its holdings of conventional, lighter crudes. Originally, these were light oils too. They became heavy, because the cap rock over the reservoir didn’t form a complete seal. This allowed bacteria to penetrate and consume the lighter components. A great deal has also drained away or simply evaporated, leaving only the heavier compounds behind.

Statoil has taken active steps at their technology centers in Norway and Canada to develop a sustainable value chain for heavy oil. With a firm belief that new solutions will play a key role in producing and upgrading these crudes, Statoil’s centers support all heavy oil operations and work with environmentally sensitive technology.

Increased Recovery

While some claim that the Norwegian Continental Shelf is close to exhaustion, Statoil’s estimates say that only one third of the reserves on the Norwegian Continental Shelf have been recovered. And while regular findings get smaller and less accessible, Statoil believes that drilling for new findings and increased recovery from existing sources will go hand in hand in future.

According to Statoil’s increased recovery statistics, every extra per cent the company extracts from existing fields increases recovery by 600 million barrels; the same amount as the largest new findings on the Norwegian Continental Shelf over the last ten years.

IR (Increased Recovery) being both a value-adding and a sustainable business, it has become an important outsource for Statoil, and has made the company a world leader in increased recovery.

Statfjord, Statoil’s largest oil field, brought on stream in 1979, is a prime example of Statoil’s commitment to Increased Recovery. According to original estimates, Statfjord should be closed by now. But, because of Sttaoil’s groundbreaking IR solutions, the field will probably see its 50-year anniversary. The estimated rate of utilization is now reaching 70% for the oil and 75% for the gas, which is 20% more than originally estimated, and equates to 300-400 million extra barrels.

Better seismic creates more values

Statoil aims to be a world leader in the field of advanced seismics by 2012.

Better seismic pictures of the underground directly translate into better chances for carrying out new explorations, while also supporting the company with more precise resource estimations, so that Statoil can decide more easily where to drill and how to best develop findings.

Offering the ability to also follow changes in geological formations as the pressure in the oil and gas fields declines, such 4D seismic data gives Statoil the information the company needs in order to maintain the productions volumes by drilling new production wells and tie up pockets of isolated oil and gas.

On the Norne field, such 4D seismic data has raised the rate of utilization to 60 %, a world leader aong subsea fields. On Gullfaks 62 million barrels extra has been extracted. In the Gulf of Mexico and other places where the resources is located in extreme water depths and beyond thick layers of salt or lava, such advanced seismic will be essential

The Statoil way

Statoil operates on a strong belief that competitive returns for their shareholders are best achieved through a values-based performance culture, stringent ethical requirements and a code of conduct which promotes personal integrity.

Given these fundamental values, Statoil has set absolute requirements for health, safety and the environment (HSE). The company aims to meet the demand for energy which is necessary for further economic and social development, while showing consideration for the environment and making an active effort to fight global climate change.

Safe and efficient operations are Statoil’s first priority. The company has won great renown for their technical safety monitoring system and their safe behaviour programme. With a goal to always achieve zero personal injuries, Statoil emphasises continuous work for an improved HSE performance in all their activities.

Marcellus shale gas

Statoil acquired a 32.5% interest in the Marcellus shale gas acreage from Chesapeake Energy Corporation in 2008.

Covering 1.8 million acres in the Appalachian region of the north-eastern USA, this acquisition is part of a strategic agreement between the two companies to jointly explore unconventional gas opportunities worldwide.

The agreement covers more than 32,000 leases in the states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Ohio. Chesapeake plans to continue acquiring leases in the Marcellus shale play. Statoil has the right to a 32.5% participation in any such additional leasehold.

With this transaction Statoil has acquired future, recoverable equity resources in the order of 2.5-3.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Statoil’s equity production from the Marcellus shale gas play is expected to increase to at least 50,000 boe per day in 2012 and at least 200,000 boe per day after 2020.

Both companies believe that the development programme could support the drilling of 13,500 to 17,000 horizontal wells over the next 20 years.


The Peregrino field, located 85 km offshore Brazil in water depths of around 100 metres, is Statoil’s largest heavy crude oil field.

The world’s heavy crude resources, generally younger than conventional oils, were also originally light. These have become heavy – viscous – because the cap rock over the reservoir hasn’t formed a complete seal, which in turn has allowed bacteria to penetrate and consume the light components.

A lot has also drained away or quite simply evaporated, leaving only the heavier compounds.

Statoil believes that a lot of oil can be recovered at Peregrino. Combining technology and solutions which have been developed elsewhere to achieve a profitable production solution for this field, Statoil aims to recover oil from Peregrino’s resources which are located about 2,300 metres beneath the seabed.

To reach that depth, Statoil is using the same horizontal drilling techniques they have applied in such locations as the Grane heavy oil field in the North Sea which allows them to drill a number of wells from the same position, while greatly improving field drainage.

A total of 30 horizontal oil producers and seven injection wells are due to be drilled on Peregrino from two platforms, with a ship placed between them to receive and process the wellstreams.

Carrie Ann
Carrie Ann is Editor-in-Chief at Industry Leaders Magazine, based in Las Vegas. Carrie covers technology, trends, marketing, brands, productivity, and leadership. When she isn’t writing she prefers reading. She loves reading books and articles on business, economics, corporate law, luxury products, artificial intelligence, and latest technology. She’s keen on political discussions and shares an undying passion for gadgets. Follow Carrie Ann on Twitter, Facebook

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