The Norwegian oil and gas industry has come far in the past half century. From a time when it played no role in the county’s economy and society, it is now the largest industry in a country that ranks as the fifth largest oil exporter and the tenth largest oil producer.
Today, there are 52 fields in production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). In 2006 these fields produced 2.8 million barrels of oil and 88 billion standard cubic meters (scm) gas, for a total production of saleable petroleum of 249 million scm in oil equivalents. These numbers only begin to tell the story of the strength of the Norwegians, who are recognized today as world leaders within a wide range of oil and gas activities.
Norway has much to offer, both at home and abroad. The NCS has remained a popular target for both oil and gas companies as well as suppliers, and the country’s industry as a whole is competing and succeeding nationally and on the international level like never before. This is all being done in close cooperation with the Norwegian Government, whose solid management of the country’s natural resources combines a visionary environmental policy with practical measures geared towards reducing CO2 emissions.
Taking Care of the Earth
Environmental initiatives are a top priority of the Norwegian Government, with research, development and implementation taking place on all levels of society. This focus is especially true with regard to the global oil and gas industry and the carbon footprints that are created as part of the production process. In a proactive environmental move, the Norwegian Government has proposed to grant over USD 250 million to research, technology development and work with carbon capture, transport and storage in 2008.
This initiative, led by The Minister of Petroleum and Energy Åslaug Haga, shows the commitment of the Norwegian Government and its people to a clean planet: As Ministry Haga indicates, “The Government places great emphasis on developing carbon capture and storage as an option for mitigating climate change. To achieve this it is necessary with a comprehensive commitment over several years on research, development and demonstration of CCS technology.”
Norwegian companies offer excellent products and support over the entire spectrum of Oil and Gas Cluster activities.
Cooperating closely with the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, an organization focusing upon resource management and administration on behalf of the Ministry. The role of the Directorate is to maintain up to date information concerning all petroleum activity in Norway, laying the basis for sound resource management, safety and preparedness.
This perspective ties in well with OG21 – the National Technology Strategy, which is the national strategy for research and development in the oil and gas sector. OG21 has five focus areas: environment, increased recovery, deep water, small fields and the gas value chain. This commitment combines long-term goals with short-term projects that help guide Norway towards an increasingly world-class level of excellence as a leader in this global industry.
The Oil & Gas Cluster
The Norwegian oil and gas cluster covers the entire value chain, from exploration and development, production and operation, to decommissioning. This industry is the largest employer in Norway, with over 80,000 personnel directly working with petroleum-related activities. With the far-ranging successes being achieved, it is clearly evident that the skills, experience and technology developed here are being utilised by the international oil and gas industry all over the world.
A healthy cluster is integral to a healthy Norwegian economy, and to maintain this momentum an ongoing multi-level cooperative effort has evolved. This cooperation is known as the “Norwegian Model” and includes a wide range of joint government-business sector initiatives that have been instrumental in Norway’s ongoing success. Examples of these initiatives include organizations such as INTSOK, Kon-Kraft, OG21 and Demo 2000.
The importance of this cooperation cannot be underestimated. According to INTSOK’s Werner Karlsson, “The success of the Norwegian oil and gas cluster is rooted in the expertise of the individual companies, and the fact that the entire spectrum of upstream oil and gas activities are covered by these companies. This, combined with close cooperation with the Norwegian government, provides excellent future opportunities.”
INTSOK promotes the Norwegian oil and gas industry, emphasising Norway’s role as an integrated element of the international industry. By monitoring global market conditions, INTSOK assists companies with marketing activities, targeting of key countries, as well as providing guidance to these partner companies in helping them access international markets.
Another hub for dialogue is the Norwegian Petroleum Society (NPF), an important meeting place for people working in the industry. Communication is essential in ensuring that Norwegian companies meet the needs of the international oil and gas market, and Secretary General Gro Mjellum, emphasises its importance, “The NPF represents an industry which poses major technological and professional challenges. At the same time, this sector plays a substantial economic and political role in Norway. Network building and exchange of current knowledge is essential for the sector’s continued success.”
On Time & Within Budget
Norwegian companies in the oil and gas industry are renowned for bringing home projects on time and under budget. These include well-known international companies such as StatoilHydro, Aibel and Aker-Kværner, FMC, as well as numerous other professional companies such as AGR Group. This oil services company headquartered in Norway offers a wide range of services ranging from constructing and managing drilling programs to providing services and technologies for exploration, production and maintenance.
With over 40 patents in commercial use, AGR Group prides itself on bringing cutting edge oil and gas technologies to market. CEO Sverre Skogen comments, “It has been a rewarding journey for AGR Group, utilizing North Sea tested skills and technologies around the globe. We see the future for AGR Group as one deeply enmeshed in the global oil and gas business and being where our clients need us.”
Heavily involved in rig projects in China, Scandpower combines the effort of Chinese staff and western experts in a balance that has shown to be a success for rig owners building for Norwegian waters. Scandpower has a long track record of top performance in a wide range of projects within the oil and gas industry, serving customers all over the world with support encompassing the entire spectrum from early concepts to detailed engineering, operational development and, finally, decommissioning.
Below the Surface
Helifuel is onsite supporting some of the thousands of oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Success certainly rings true within the subsea sector, with Norwegian companies enjoying a large share of the global market in this area of operation. Success stories abound, including Subsea 7, a world leader in subsea engineering and construction, which recently announced a USD 125 million contract with BP for installation works in the northern North Sea. Other companies with a far reaching impact on activities below the surface include StatoilHydro, Vetco, FMC Kongsberg Subsea and Aker Kværner, all of whom are taking the lead in a way that is making its mark far outside of the Norwegian borders.
A leading provider of subsea systems for energy production, Aker Kværner also excels in services related to design, construction, maintenance, modification, and operation of industrial facilities. VetcoGray’s product offering covers the spectrum from single well onshore drilling projects to multiple well deepwater facilities and subsea production.
FMC is a leading manufacturer and supplier of subsea production systems, including subsea trees, controls and manifold and tie-in systems.
GTO Subsea has produced the most powerful Subsea dredge available, the new 350 HP GTO dredge capable of dredging rock dump up to 370 mm. The dredge system is unrestricted, which means that any rock up to 16 inches in diameter can be shifted without causing any problems. With its unmatched power, the dredge is also ideal for long distance shifting of material of all kinds, such as drill-cut, sand and clay.
Finding What You Are Looking For
For the past 20 years, the world’s population has been consuming oil faster than replacement reserves can be found. Oil consumption, currently at approximately 85 million barrels per day, is expected to rise to 120 million barrels per day by 2030. At the same time, the world’s established oil provinces are expected to decline. This combination clearly shows the need for better technology to find and secure oil and gas, and the Norwegians are in place and prepared to provide assistance wherever the need may arise.
Seabed logging technology developed by EMGS plays an important role in improving the efficiency of frontier exploration. Achieving optimal resource use, operators can begin to redress the reserves-replacement deficit. Seabed logging also helps operators find missed opportunities in mature regions where infrastructure is already in place. This extends field life and leverage from existing assets and can defer abandonment. Seabed logging can also directly reveal the presence of commercial hydrocarbon reserves and identify reservoirs before seismic surveys are conducted.
Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) is a leading worldwide geophysical company that provides an extensive range of seismic services and products for the petroleum industry, including data acquisition, processing, reservoir analysis and interpretation. The company also possesses the world’s most extensive multi-client data library, and numerous international companies turn to PGS for assistance in securing necessary data.
Companies such as SeaBed Geophysical supplies expertise in all aspects of the marine multi-component seismic sector. Providing feasibility studies, modelling, survey planning and acquisition, SeaBed processes and interprets seismic data with an acquisition method based entirely on the autonomous node system called the CASE system. This scalable, flexible and highly efficient system has the capability to work in very congested areas. A dedicated Hugin Explorer is currently being rigged for node handling and source system enabling a single vessel operation and is scheduled to be operation in Q1 2008.
Support When You Need It
TTS Active Roll is a motion-compensated helideck system that improves helicopter access to moving sea vessels.
© Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS)
Few industries are more complicated than oil and gas, and Norwegian companies are prepared to provide support and expertise where and when needed. Companies such as IKM, Norsea Group, Nexans, Siemens, AS Trans Construction, AC Marine, Aarbakke and many others provide quality support and products to this demanding industry.
The Norwegian group TTS has a strong presence within offshore oil and gas, with subsea load handling and drilling among their focus areas. TTS supplies floating units with motion-compensated equipment, decks, cranes and winches capable of working with loads to 3000 metre depths. Also, an active roll compensated helideck has been developed, enlarging ‘weather windows’ for take-offs and landings.
Specializing in helicopter refueling systems, Helifuel has become one of the world leaders in manufacturing and supply of this niche product. Dependability and 24/7 response are critical to the international oil industry, and Helifuel finds that operators worldwide appreciate their capabilities. The company is now also well represented in the Gulf of Mexico, says Marketing Manager Jorunn Håvardsholm, “After several years of working towards the US market testing the ground for possibilities, we now had a major breakthrough in that region.”
Rigging It Up
Rig expertise runs deep in Norway, with successful companies such as Sense EDM supplying intelligent rigs, innovative tubular handling systems and world class control systems and products that are used to drill the most challenging wells around the globe. Other companies offering top quality rigging and equipment include Aibel, a leading provider of services, products and technologies to the global upstream oil and gas industry, as well as GS-Hydro, PetroJack, Seadrill and Novenco.
Novenco is delivering HVAC systems to harsh environment self-elevating jack-up rigs. When completed, they will be the largest jack-up rigs ever to be built in Singapore, and will also be among the world’s largest jack-up rigs to be constructed for the North Sea. With living quarters designed to accommodate 120 persons, these rigs have combined drilling and production facilities; they will normally operate in 120-meter water depths and are capable of drilling depths down to 10,600 metres. According to Bredo Hagberg, Novenco’s CEO in Norway, “These rigs meet the increasing demand for more sophisticated and innovative rigs to meet new challenges in the development of oil and gas fields in harsh environments.”
StatoilHydro have gained valuable expertise in the ever-changing conditions of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
© Øyvind Hagen/ StatoilHydro
Down in the Well
Change requires improved and more innovative technology, with Aker Drilling, Fred Olsen Energy, Smedvig and others leading the way in offshore drilling and well services. Smedvig operates a fleet of mobile drilling units, tender rigs and a deepwater drill-ship. National Oilwell Varco is continuing to make its mark as a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of drilling and production equipment, the provision of oilfield inspection, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry.
Companies such as Peak Well Solutions have found international success with their ISO certified casing suspension plugs, also providing products, technology, services and solutions within well construction, intelligent cementing and temporary abandonment areas. Other companies such as TCO have found their niche with tubing disappearing glass plugs used for completion and well intervention.
When the Going Gets Tough
StatoilHydro is internationally known for its cutting-edge technology and high return on investment. Benchmarks show that the company uses the most innovative solutions and is highly cost efficient due to the technology employed. One reason is the company’s ability to work closely with other companies as well as the Norwegian government. Another is StailoilHydro’s large and demanding portfolio in the harsh environment of the NCS, an area that demands nothing less than excellence.
The NCS serves as a laboratory for StatoilHydro and has facilitated ongoing technological development, an increase in production effectiveness and implementation of environmentally friendly solutions globally. The employment of technology developments from Tordis, Snøhvit, Tyrihans, Ormen Lange, Lufeng (China) and other fields has paved the way for deepwater developments in the Gulf of Mexico.
The conditions in the Gulf of Mexico are some of the most demanding on earth. Challenges include water depth, hurricanes, strong underwater currents, deep reservoirs with extremely high pressure and layers of salt on the gulf floor that measure up to 6,000 metres in thickness, making seismic measurement difficult. Technology that has been successfully developed and implemented on the NCS is now being put to good use by StatoilHydro in the Gulf of Mexico as subsea solutions, FPSOs and long distance tiebacks. These are areas of expertise that must be mastered to achieve successful development in these ultra deep waters.
Working closely together with companies such as FMC, Aker-Kværner and many others, StatoilHydro knows the importance of ongoing communication and cooperation. According to Arnt Olufsen, StatoilHydro’s Senior Advisor for Deep Water Technology in the Gulf of Mexico, “The easy barrels are gone, and new technology is required to unlock the deepwater frontier areas. The new company will build on our pioneering spirit and cooperation models to move faster.”
Taking Care of Business & People
The oil and gas industry demands nothing less than the highest safety precautions, while planning for cost and environmental efficiency when decommissioning. As Knut Erik Bang, CEO of Norse Cutting & Abandonment (NCA) says, “A large number of the world’s oil and gas installations are now approaching the end of their economic life. NCA has invested in new technologies for conducting these operations in a more cost-efficient way, and at the same time fulfilling the strictest safety and environmental standards that we are faced with in the North Sea…it is very rewarding to see that our well abandonment and decommissioning services have proven to be very attractive also outside the North Sea basin.”
Companies such as Novenco and Frank Mohn focus on safety and prevention. Frank Mohn supplies water injection pumps and systems, fire water pumps, seawater lift pumps, cavern pumps, portable pumps, oil recovery equipment and pumping systems for subsea applications, offering assistance during all project phases and needs. Novenco develops and manufactures high-quality ventilation and fire-fighting systems marketed and distributed worldwide through subsidiaries and agents. The company has become a world-leading supplier that symbolizes quality and environmentally friendly products.
MARINTEK and Petrobas enjoy a productive alliance in the LabOceano facility, Brazils new test laboratory.
Asking the Questions & Finding the Answers
SINTEF Petroleum Research is internationally respected for research and development in creating technology for exploration solutions, field development and production. The list of successful projects and programs is long, including SmartPipe, Deepline, and the Cold Flow project currently under development. ColdFlow uses hydrates as a resource, not a problem. This patent pending technology transports hydrates as a powder, resulting in more stable production, and represents potentially huge savings and environmental benefits. Increased safety is also achieved, as ColdFlow does not require chemical additives.
Jon Harald Kaspersen, Research Director of SINTEF’s Wellstream Department comments, “The ColdFlow concept will enable multiphase transport of unprocessed well fluids over long and ultra-long distances, which will be in demand when hydrocarbons are going to be retrieved from the Arctic.”
The Norwegian Marine Technology Research Institute (MARINTEK) is a SINTEF Group company offering research, development and research-based advisory services in the maritime sector for industry and the public sector. The Institute develops and verifies technological solutions for the shipping and maritime equipment industries and for offshore petroleum production. Typical research projects include the collaborative effort with Chevron Texaco studying floaters in ultra deep waters, as well as cooperation with LabOceano, Brazil’s new test laboratory, with a project aiming to validate procedures for model testing for ultra-deep waters.
Oddvar Aam, President of MARINTEK, says, “The world is crying out for solutions, and research and innovation by people with knowledge are keys to secure a future for us all. Our organization intends to do its best to encourage the coming generation to take part in a sustainable utilisation of the oceans, with regard to good and environmentally appropriate solutions for oil and gas production, increased food production from the sea and clean, efficient marine transportation.”
Norway has traditionally been keenly interested in the world around them, exploring and finding new solutions. Look to the north and Norwegian oil and gas expertise as it reaches out globally with innovation, knowledge, technology and a hard-working attitude looking to support and improve, always with a thought towards cost control and the environment. Look to Norway for their strong role in the future of the oil and gas industry.
Transporting hydrates as a powder, SINTEF’s ColdFlow allows more stable production without adding chemicals.