Krafla, Fulla and Nord of Alvheim (NOA) together constitute the area called NOAKA. (Credit: Aker BP)
Representatives from Equinor, Aker BP and LOTOS delivering PDOs for the NOAKA area to Terje Aasland, Minister of Petroleum and Energy. (Credit: Bård Gudim / Aker BP)
Subsea 7 secured front-end engineering and design (FEED) study contract for the marine installations associated with the Krafla development project. (Credit: © SUBSEA7)

Krafla oil and gas field is being developed at a water depth of about 108m in central North Sea on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The field is owned by Aker BP (50%) and Equinor (50%).

It is one of three discoveries in the NOAKA area, with the other two being Fulla and North of Alvheim (NOA).

In June 2022, Equinor signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to transfer the Krafla operatorship to Aker BP. The move made Aker BP the operator of all discoveries in the NOAKA.

The JV partners also proposed a name change for NOA as Hugin, Krafla as Munin, while NOAKA area will be called Yggdrasil.

The partners took the final investment decision (FID) and submitted a plan for development and operation (PDO) for Krafla to the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy in December 2022.

Total investment for Krafla is estimated to be NOK46bn ($4.61bn). Production from the field is expected to start in early 2027.

Discovery, Geology and Reserves

The Krafla field was proven in 2011 by exploration well 30/11-8S. The site is situated around 35km south of the Oseberg field.

Water depth in the region is around 110m.

The drilling campaigns of 2014 and 2016 proved a total of 11 discoveries in the Krafla, Askja and Central area drilling locations within the development.

The field reservoirs are characterised as complex with large fluid variations. The Middle Jurassic sandstone of the Brent Group host oil and gas at depths of 3,200m-3,650m.

The total recoverable resources in Krafla field are estimated to be up to 325 million barrels of oil equivalent (52 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent).

This includes 22.2 billion standard cubic metres of gas, 19.5 million standard cubic metres of oil and 10.1 million standard cubic metres of natural gas liquids (NGL).

Project details

The Krafla development will include an unmanned production platform (UPP) with five seabed templates which will be tied back to a production, drilling and living quarters platform on NOA. The development will be powered from the shore.

Water injection will be used in majority of the oil reservoirs to boost recovery.

Oil producers will be supported by gas lift, while gas and fault blocks with minor oil reserves and gas reservoirs will be produced by natural depletion.

The UPP and the subsea production systems will be operated from Krafla Onshore Operation Centre (OOC) in Stavanger.

According to Equinor, the unmanned Krafla platform will be the first of its kind with no helicopter deck or living quarters. Service operation vessels will be used to access the platform.

The produced gas will be transported through a shared pipeline to Statpipe and Kårstø, while the oil will be exported using a shared pipeline to the Sture terminal.

The field is expected to have a life of 25 years.

Contractors involved

The unmanned production platform will be developed by Equinor, while the processing platform with well area and living quarters will be developed by Aker BP.

In April 2021, Equinor contracted ABB for the latter’s Adaptive Execution methodology to optimise the unmanned processing platform for the Krafla field. ABB will also provide automation solutions for the oil and gas field development including the Krafla, Fulla, and North of Alvheim (NOA).

In March 2022, Subsea 7 secured front-end engineering and design (FEED) study contract for the marine installations associated with the Krafla development project.

In December 2022, Aibel was awarded a NOK7bn ($710m) contract by Aker BP for the construction of the Munin platform (formerly Krafla) in the Yggdrasil area. The contract follows Aibel’s FEED work for Krafla UPP, now Munin.

NOAKA (Yggdrasil) details

The NOAKA area is located between Oseberg and Alvheim in the North Sea.

The area includes Krafla, Fulla and NOA. Total investments for the NOAKA area are estimated to be NOK115bn ($11.63bn).

The total recoverable resources in the NOAKA area are estimated at a total of 103 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent, or around 650 million barrels of oil equivalent, with further exploration and appraisal potential.

Yggdrasil development concept includes a comprehensive subsea development with a total of nine subsea templates, 55 wells and subsea infrastructure.