Norwegian oil production firm OKEA has announced that it had to cut production from its Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea, due to restrictions imposed by the Norwegian Government in response to low oil prices as a result of Covid-19 outbreak.

Operated by OKEA with a 44.56% working interest, the field lies 250m deep in water. Other partners in the field include Petoro (47.88%) and Neptune Energy (7.56%).

Permitted production volumes for Draugen this month and the second half of this year have been reduced from 3.63 million barrels (MMbbl) to 3.43MMbbl in total.

To re-optimise operations, the license partners have agreed to re-schedule a bi-annual maintenance shutdown on the field from September this year to late June next year, thereby, maintaining this year’s production guidance of 14,000boepd-15,000boepd.

In a press statement, OKEA stated: “Implementation of Covid-19 related infection control measures and travel restrictions has resulted in significantly lower availability of personnel at the Aker Solutions yard in Egersund where the Maersk Inspirer rig for the Yme project (15.00% WI) is undergoing an upgrade.

“Consent for using the rig on the Yme field was given by the Petroleum Safety Authority 18 May. In case of prolonged restrictions, in addition to the inherent schedule risk of all large modification projects, OKEA expects first oil for Yme to be delayed to the first half of 2021.”

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In March this year, OKEA confirmed its Yme redevelopment project is scheduled to deliver first oil in the latter half of 2020. The project is located in the Egersund Basin, 100km off the coast in the Norwegian area of the North Sea.