Pil & Bue Development, North Sea, Norway

pil and bue

The Pil & Bue development includes the Pil and Bue oil discoveries in production license PL586, located in blocks 6406 / 11 and 12 of the Norwegian North Sea.

The discoveries lie in water depths of 324m, 35km south-west of the Njord field.

PL586 is jointly owned by VNG Norge (30%), Faroe Petroleum (25%) and Point Resources (45%), and the development is operated by VNG.

The operator announced in November 2016 that a field development concept had been selected for the project.

A final investment decision is expected to be made by the end of 2017, followed by submission of the plan for development and operation (PDO).

Pil & Bue discovery details

The Pil discovery was made in March 2014 with the drilling of the 6406 / 12-3 S exploration well, which encountered a 226m hydrocarbon column in the Jurassic reservoir rock of the Rogn Formation, comprising 92m of gas and 134m of oil.

A drill stem test (DST) was conducted on the well, which flowed at the rate of 6,710 barrels of oil a day (bopd).

The Bue discovery was made with the drilling of the 6406 / 12-3 A exploration well in June 2014, which was drilled to a depth of 3,656.5m. The well encountered an 18m hydrocarbon column in reservoir rocks of the Rogn formation.

Pressure data collected from the well showed no communication between the Pil and Bue discoveries, and as such the well was classified as a separate discovery.

Pil & Bue exploration and appraisal

The 6406 / 12-3 B sidetrack appraisal well was drilled on the Pil discovery in order to appraise the lateral extent of the reservoir structure.

The well was drilled to a depth of 3,996m, approximately 1.7km north-east of the discovery well. It struck an 82m-thick oil column in Upper Jurassic reservoir sandstones of good quality.

Geology and reserves

The Pil & Bue reservoirs are part of the Halten Terrace area of the Norwegian Sea. Both reservoirs are of the Late Jurassic age, and are located at a depth of 3,200m-3,500m.

The total resource estimate of the discoveries is between 90 and 200 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).

Pil discovery is estimated to contain between 72mmboe and 172mmboe, while Bue discovery is estimated to contain between 6mmboe and 25mmboe.

Pil discovery is estimated to contain good quality oil with an API of 37°, and a gas to oil ratio of 853scf/stb.

Pil & Bue field development details

A subsea tie-back to the Statoil-operated Njord A platform has been selected as the preferred development solution for the project.

The discoveries are scheduled to undergo a phased development process, with the Pil discovery being developed first, followed by Bue.

The development plan envisages the drilling of up to eight wells, including four production wells, three injection wells and one well for gas lift.

Two subsea templates containing with production, water injection and gas injection flowlines will connect the discoveries to the Njord A platform.

"Pil discovery is estimated to contain between 72mmboe and 172mmboe, while Bue discovery is estimated to contain between 6mmboe and 25mmboe."

Njord A is a floating steel platform equipped with drilling and processing facilities along with living quarters.

It was originally designed for a service-life of 16 years, but nearby satellite field developments now require the facility to remain operational until 2023.

The platform is currently being refurbished in Kvaerner's Stord facility in Norway. The upgrades will not only extend its operating life, but also accommodate a number of new tie-back developments such as Pil & Bue.

Contractors involved

VNG contracted Subsea7 and TechnipFMC to provide a front-end engineering design (FEED) for the project's subsea structures, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF).

The FEED deal for the subsea production systems was won by TechnipFMC and Aker Solutions.

VNG signed a contract with Reinertsen to provide owner's engineering services for the development. Reinertsen will offer the technical expertise required to move the project towards development as part of the arrangement.