In 1969, there were 2 significant world events. The first man walked on the moon, and the gigantic ConocoPhillips-operated Ekofisk field in the North Sea was discovered.
To say both were considered, at one time, long shots is an understatement. In the case of Ekofisk, in February 1958, the Geological Survey of Norway reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “The chances of finding coal, oil or sulfur on the continental shelf off the Norwegian coast can be discounted.”
As it turned out, the Ekofisk discovery marked the beginning of a Norwegian oil journey and the start of a period of tremendous development and prosperity for Norway. And the Ekofisk story has been made possible by a pioneering spirit that now characterizes our company’s culture.
Today, Ekofisk is as busy as ever and is Norway’s biggest producing oil field. Activities range from planning and executing new projects to drilling and constructing new platforms. The Greater Ekofisk Area is made up of 4 producing fields: Ekofisk, Eldfisk, Tor and Embia. The Ekofisk Complex is the main production hub and also serves as the center for sending oil and natural gas liquids to markets in the U.K and Germany.
On the same day we celebrated 40 years of production at Ekofisk, June 9, 2011, the Norwegian Parliament approved plans for development and operations of new projects, Ekofisk South and Eldfisk II. “With these two projects,” said our Europe President Steinar Våge, “ConocoPhillips is poised to remain a key player on the Norwegian shelf to 2050 and beyond.”
The projects include modifications to existing platforms and infrastructure, new pipelines and the drilling of new wells. Ekofisk 2/4L, the new accommodation and field center platform, is an important part of the renewal of the Ekofisk Complex and the area in general.
With 552 single-bed cabins, Ekofisk 2/4L will be the largest hotel platform in the North Sea. In addition to the accommodations for personnel, the platform will house a number of field center functions and systems. It will also serve as a regional telecommunications center and handle air and sea traffic control. The platform will house offices, helicopter hangars, a hospital, cafeteria and recreational areas. It will also be the center for preparedness and safety functions, including 10 free-fall lifeboats, each with 70 seats, and the mustering and preparedness center for search and rescue.
The Ekofisk South project includes construction of the wellhead platform Ekofisk 2/4Z to connect to new wells and the subsea facility Ekofisk 2/4VB with 8 water injection wells. With a unique chalk reservoir forming the basis for the project, more production wells will enter operations and water injection capacity will expand. It will be connected to the Ekofisk complex by a 116-meter-long bridge.
Eldfisk II includes a new integrated platform at Eldfisk 2/7S with wellhead and processing facilities, 40 new wells and 154 cabins. A bridge will connect the new platform to the Eldfisk Complex. The project also includes new pipelines, fiber optic cable, water treatment system and extensive modifications to existing facilities and infrastructure.
“These projects will allow us to maintain safe and stable production for a long time,” Våge added.