Statoil and its licence partners have selected an unmanned wellhead platform as the concept for the Oseberg Future development phase I project in the Norwegian North Sea.
The companies plan to take investment decision at the end of the year. The platform has no living quarters, helicopter deck or lifeboats, and will be controlled from the Oseberg field centre.
Statoil senior vice-president of projects Anders Opedal said: "The alternative was to place the wells on the seabed, but the costs of subsea wells have been tripled during the last decade.
"We have therefore chosen a jacket-based unmanned wellhead platform that will reduce costs by several hundred million Nkr."
Statoil said even though unmanned wellhead platforms without facilities, helicopter deck and lifeboats are new to Norway, they have been used for some time globally.
Pre-studies of the unmanned wellhead platform will be undertaken by Statoil and its licence partners.
Statoil senior vice-president of field development Ivar Aasheim said: "The platform will have high-quality equipment to reduce the need for maintenance during the operations phase.
"Consequently, we are planning for only two short maintenance campaigns per year, which will be carefully planned and performed in good-weather seasons."
In a separate release, Statoil revealed the completion of a two-well programme in the Krafla area in the North Sea.
Statoil together with PL035 partners has found significant recoverable resources in the area since 2011.
Image: Illustration of unmanned wellhead platform. Photo: courtesy of Statoil.