The partially processed oil and gas from the Ivar Aasen field is routed to the Edvard Grieg field for further processing and export. Image courtesy of Aker BP.
The Ivar Aasen field was officially inaugurated in February 2017. Image courtesy of Aker BP.
Maersk Drilling was awarded a contract to drill two wells at the Ivar Aasen field in February 2021. Image courtesy of Maersk Drilling.

The Ivar Aasen oil and gas field located in the Norwegian North Sea has been producing since December 2016. Aker BP is the operator and holds a 34.79% interest in the field, while the other development partners are Equinor Energy (41.47%), Spirit Energy (12.32%), Wintershall Dea (6.46%), Neptune Energy (3.02%), Lundin Energy (1.39%), and OKEA (0.55%).

Det norske discovered the Ivar Aasen field in 2008, while the plan for development and operation (PDO) of the field was approved by the Norwegian authorities in May 2013.

Neptune Energy picked up a 3.02% interest in the field through the acquisition of VNG Norge in September 2018.

Location and reservoir details

The Ivar Aasen field is located in Block 16/1 at the Utsira High in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea, approximately 175km west of Karmøy, Norway. The water depth in the field area is approximately 110m.

The Ivar Aasen reservoirs comprise fluvial sandstones of the Late Triassic to Middle Jurassic Skagerrak and Sleipner Formations and the shallow marine sandstones of the Middle Jurassic Hugin Formation. The oil resources are found to be present in the reservoir at a depth of approximately 2,400m, and the water injection technique is employed for extracting resources in the Ivar Aasen reservoir.

The West Cable reservoir comprises fluvial sandstones of the Middle Jurassic Sleipner Formation with oil resources found at a depth of approximately 2,950m.

Ivar Aasen field infrastructure

The Ivar Aasen field comprises 11 production wells and eight water injection wells spread across the Ivar Aasen and the West Cable reservoirs.

The offshore field is developed through a production, drilling, and quarters (PDQ) platform with a steel jacket, and a separate jack-up rig for drilling and completion. The platform also has spare slots for future production and injection wells.

The Ivar Aasen platform partly processes the oil and gas produced in the field before export via pipelines to the neighbouring Edvard Grieg platform for further processing. The Ivar Aasen platform also receives electricity and lift gas from the Edvard Grieg platform.

The Edvard Grieg field is located approximately 10km southeast of Ivar Aasen field. The oil from the Edvard Grieg platform is transported via a 43km-long, 28in-diameter export pipeline to the Grane oil pipeline which is connected to the Sture oil terminal in Øygarden, Hordaland, Norway.

The gas is exported through a 94km-long, 16in-diameter pipeline to the Beryl pipeline which is connected to the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation (SAGE) pipeline connecting St. Fergus, Scotland, UK.

Recent developments in the Ivar Aasen field

The Ivar Aasen field underwent its first planned maintenance shutdown in September 2020, while two new production wells, drilled in late 2020 for increased oil recovery, started operations in the first quarter of 2021.

A drilling campaign involving two further new wells is also scheduled for 2021 with the first well expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the second well in the first quarter of 2022.

Ivar Aasen became the first field to be operated with a manned platform on the Norwegian continental shelf from an onshore control room in January 2019.  Aker BP’s offices at Trondheim, Norway, operate the Ivar Aasen platform.

Potential tie-back projects to the Ivar Aasen platform

The concept for the Hanz field development is expected to be selected in the second quarter of 2021 and a final investment decision is planned for late 2021. The first oil is anticipated in the first quarter of 2024.

Discovered in 1997, the Hanz field is located in PL 028 B, approximately 12km north of the Ivar Aasen field. Aker BP is the operator of the field and holds a 35% interest, while the other field development partners are Equinor Energy (50%) and Spirit Energy Norway (15%). The field is estimated to contain approximately 2.9 million cubic metres of oil equivalent reserves.

Aker BP picked up a 10% interest in the Lille Prinsen discovery in PL 167 from Equinor Energy in December 2020. The Lundin Energy Norway-operated PL 167 is also considered to be a potential subsea tie-back to Ivar Aasen.

Aker BP acquired a 40% interest in PL 780 located near the Ivar Aasen field from Spirit Energy Norway in September 2019. Spirit Energy Norway is the operator of PL 780 and holds the remaining 60% interest.

Recently awarded contracts

Shearwater GeoServices received a contract from Aker BP to conduct an ocean bottom seismic (OBS) 4D survey at the Ivar Aasen field in February 2021. Shearwater’s multi-purpose vessels SW Cook and SW Tasman will be deployed for conducting the survey.

Maersk Drilling was awarded a contract worth approximately £14.3m ($19.5m) to drill two wells at the Ivar Aasen field in February 2021.

Maersk Drilling’s Maersk Integrator jack-up rig will be deployed for executing the project which is anticipated to start in the third quarter of 2021.