The Yme oil field in the Norwegian continental shelf that was in production from 1996 to 2001 is being redeveloped, while the restart of production is expected in 2021.

The field redevelopment includes the installation of a new wellhead module and a jack-up drilling and production rig.

The Yme offshore oil field is operated by Repsol which holds a 55% stake. The other development partners are LOTOS Exploration and Production Norge (20%), OKEA (15%), and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC, 10%).

Discovered in 1987, the offshore field was originally brought on stream in February 1996. The production was, however, halted due to low oil prices in 2001.

The current plan for the redevelopment of the field was approved by the Norwegian authorities in March 2018.

Yme field ownership history

Although the Yme oil field was originally developed and operated by Statoil, Talisman Energy took over the operatorship of the field in 2006.

KUFPEC, a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, acquired a 10% stake in the Yme field through the acquisition of Norske AEDC, a subsidiary of Arabian Oil Company, in 2013.

Repsol picked up a 60% stake in the field through the acquisition of Talisman Energy in May 2015. OKEA bought a 10% stake in the field from Wintershall in 2016. In the next year, OKEA acquired a 5% stake from Repsol to increase its participating interest in the field to 15%.

Location and reservoir details

The Yme field is located in blocks 9/2 and 9/5 in the Egersund Basin in the south-eastern part of the North Sea, Norway. The water depth in the field area ranges from 77m to 93m.

The field reservoir contains oil in Gamma and Beta structures. The distance between the Gamma and the Beta structure is approximately 12km. Situated at a depth of 3,150m beneath the seabed, the field’s reservoir comprises the Sandnes sandstone formation of the Middle Jurassic age.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the remaining recoverable oil reserves of the field are estimated to be 72.3 million barrels (Mbl).

Yme field early development

The initial plan for field development was approved by the Norwegian authorities in 1995. The original field development consisted of a jack-up drilling and production platform on the Gamma structure along with a storage vessel, and a subsea template on the Beta structure.

The Yme field, then operated by Statoil, was brought on stream in 1996. It produced oil for five years till 2001.

Yme field redevelopment details

A field redevelopment plan involving a new mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) received approval in 2007.

Although the new MOPU supplied by Single Buoy Moorings (SBM) was installed in the field in 2011, it was removed from the field in August 2016 after the identification of structural deficiencies in the MOPU.

The latest redevelopment plan that received approval from the Norwegian authorities in March 2018  involves a leased jack-up rig with drilling and production facilities, a new wellhead module, the drilling of six new wells, a new subsea development in the Beta North structure.

The field will use the nine wells pre-drilled during 2009 and 2010. The field redevelopment will also utilise the existing facilities on the field that include a caisson, a subsea oil storage tank, pipelines, and subsea infrastructure in the Beta structure.

The caisson permanent support (CPS) was installed in the Yme field in July 2019 followed by the installation of a new wellhead module on top of the existing caisson.

Water alternating gas (WAG) injection and partial water injection will be carried out to maintain reservoir pressure. The gas produced in the field will be reinjected, while the oil will be transported on shuttle tankers.

Maersk Inspirer

Maersk Inspirer, a jack-up rig with drilling and production facilities, will be deployed on the Gamma structure in the Yme field. Maersk Inspirer has been performing drilling and production operations since 2007. It was earlier deployed at the Volve oil field in the North Sea.

The production module of the Maersk Inspirer is currently being modified at the Aker Solutions’ fabrication facility in Egersund, Norway. The modification work is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Contracts awarded

Kvaerner received a £6.5m ($8.5m) contract for the construction of a caisson permanent support structure from Repsol in November 2017. Subsea7’s crane vessel Seaway Strashnov lifted and installed the caisson permanent support in the field in July 2019.

Aker Solutions bagged a £90m ($120m) contract to modify the production module on the Maersk Inspirer jack-up rig from Maersk Drilling in December 2017. The work scope included engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning services.

Proserv was awarded a contract worth over £4m ($5.5m) to upgrade and build new subsea production control equipment for the Yme field redevelopment in April 2018. The scope of the contract included the refurbishment and upgrade of the existing subsea control system.

DeepOcean received an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the subsea development at the Yme Beta North structure and its tie-back to the existing facilities in June 2020.