The Alve gas and condensate field in the Norwegian Sea started production yesterday afternoon, 19 March. Alve is developed as a subsea satellite field tied back to the Norne field's production vessel. Alve was discovered in 1990. The find led to the discovery of the Norne oil and gas field which was proven in 1992 and brought on stream in 1997.
"Its proximity to Norne made it possible to develop Alve as a satellite field, which resulted in substantial value creation and good utilization of resources," said Anita A Stenhaug, vice president for Norne operations. "Output from Alve and other finds in the area will extend Norne's lifetime from 2016 to 2021. This will provide more spin-offs for land-based activities in the north of Norway."
Alve has been developed as a conventional subsea solution. Gas will be exported through the pipeline systems established at Norne. Tie-in to existing infrastructure on the Norwegian continental shelf meant that a simplified plan for development and operation (PDO) could be submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.
The PDO was delivered in January 2007 and approved by the ministry as early as in March the same year.
"Alve is a pilot project for submitting a simplified PDO for satellite fields," said Kjell Helge Eide, manager for the development project. "This procedure has now been adopted in development projects for other such fields."
Mr Eide is particularly satisfied that Alve was delivered according to plan and with good results for health, safety and the environment (HSE). No serious injuries have been reported in the development phase.
Alve lies in production licence 159B, about 16 kilometres south-west of Norne. The field embraces the Garn, Not, Ile and Tilje formations. The proven reserves lie in Garn and Not.
The quality of the reservoir at Alve is such that one well ensures good production. Expected maximum gas production is roughly four million cubic metres of gas per day. Recoverable reserves are estimated to be 6.78 billion cubic metres of gas and 8.3 million barrels of condensate.
The Alve licensees are StatoilHydro (85%) and Dong E&P Norge (15%).