FRACTIONAL FLOW

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Norwegian Crude Oil Extraction, Fall 2014 Status

This post is a status update on crude oil extracted from the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) and presents the developments of some selected discoveries long in the tooth and some more recent developments.

I presented my 2014 crude oil forecast towards 2040 in Norwegian Crude Oil Reserves and Production per 2013 in April 2014.

Norwegian crude oil extraction, now shows a small uptick. Looking further into the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD) data it turns out this temporary growth in extraction originates from discoveries that started to flow prior to 2002, refer also figures 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Some of the discoveries brought to flow since 2002 have performed below expectations since these were sanctioned, some of which were described in A closer Look at some recent Developments Offshore Norway.

Figure 01: The columns show NCS crude oil extraction by month for 2012 (grey), 2013 (red)  and for 2014 (blue) as of August (preliminary NPD figures).

Figure 01: The columns show NCS crude oil extraction by month for 2012 (grey), 2013 (red) and for 2014 (blue) as of August (preliminary NPD figures).

As of August 2014 NCS crude oil extraction is around 20 kb/d (1%) above all of 2013.

(kb; kilo barrels, 1,000 barrels)

A closer look into the NPD estimates of reserves (EUR) and monthly actual extraction numbers shows that some of the recent developments have or had a high depletion rate, which raises expectations for a near future steep decline in their crude oil extraction rate.

There has been a small and expected temporary growth in crude oil extraction so far in 2014 relative to all of 2013. Two sources were found to contribute to this:

  • Higher depletion (extraction) rates from some of the recent developments than what could be expected from NPD’s estimates on ultimate recovery (EUR) as of end 2013.
  • Some of the developments long in the tooth has temporary reversed their decline and demonstrated some growth, which is believed to be due to the deployment of various drainage/technological strategies made possible by the high oil price.

Some typical characteristics for discoveries in the extraction phase;

  • As the reservoirs becomes 50 – 60% depleted, the extraction rate (flow) starts to decline.
  • A high depletion rate (higher extraction [production]) depletes the reservoir faster, which normally results in steeper declines.

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