License to drill
Talisman Energy was established in 1992 as an independent upstream oil and gas company in Calgary, Canada. Today the company operates in three main areas, North America, the North Sea and Southeast Asia.
In the North Sea the company has more than 40 oilfields and extensive exploration areas and is the leading independent operator in both the UK and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea.
Andreas Middelthon, manager of external affairs at Talisman Energy Norge comments on the move into Norway, which took place in 2003: “Two years after the company was established, Talisman started operating in the UK, developing mature fields from an office in Aberdeen. After building substantial business on the UK shelf, it was a natural step to begin development over the border in Norway. It is the same kind of geological area and is less mature than the UK shelf. This was five years ago, so we’re now celebrating five years of operations in Norway.”
The company, which is now the third largest acreage holder in the Norwegian North Sea, began by buying up a majority interest in the Gyda area, which was operated by BP. Within this area, Talisman’s subsidiaries hold production interests in two operated fields, the Gyda and Blane fields.
Shortly after this Talisman acquired a Trondheim based company and with it came the Varg oilfield. Andreas comments: “With Varg came a small gas discovery that was later appraised and which is now being developed as the Rev development project that will produce gas with a tie into Armada on the UK shelf.” In 2007 the company successfully drilled one exploration well and two development wells in the Varg area. Around this time, Talisman also stepped up development of the Rev field, which is expected to reach completion later this year. The company also plans to drill another exploration well and three development wells this year in the Varg field.
The company also holds a large share of the first Norwegian redevelopment, the Yme field, located in the Egersund Basin. Andreas explains: “Yme was producing oil seven years ago and was then operated by Statoil. It produced 25 million barrels before it was closed down, primarily because of low oil prices, so there are now maybe 60 million barrels left in the field. Now we are developing the site; we will place an oil tank on the seabed, which is being equipped and placed in the field this August and in about a year from now we hope to have started production.
“The work we’ve done at Yme and also the work for extending field life at Gyda and Varg led to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) awarding us the 2007 award for improved oil recovery (IOR), of which we’re very proud!”
The redevelopment project has brought with it advantages over new developments, Andreas explains: “We’ve been able to go ahead with this redevelopment as we’ve benefited from all the reservoir data collected by the first operator, so we have a lot more information than we would on a first development. This data enables us to create a sophisticated reservoir model, so that when we start the redevelopment, we can have a better feel for the field before we even begin production.”
Andreas is also pleased with the rate of development and expansion the company has experienced in recent years and is keen to look to the future and new areas: “Over the past five years the company has in many ways shown terrific growth and is now within the top 100 Norwegian companies. The Talisman Corporation is very pleased with how the company has settled into Norway and sees the growth potential in this area. A decision has come from Calgary to invest significant amounts in exploration drilling in the future in Norway and if the government allows, we’ll go further north and explore the exciting prospects in the Barents Sea, where we, like many others, are hoping to make some major discoveries.” The company participated in the drilling of 13 exploration & exploitation wells in 2007 & 2008. There are plans to drill up to 40 exploration wells over next five years.
Looking ahead, Andreas is confident about the future of the industry in this part of the North Sea: “We think that the Norwegian shelf has a lot of remaining potential, there are far fewer exploration wells on the northern seabed, when compared to the UK, so we believe there are discoveries to be made over here now; a major discovery could mean anything from two to 300 million barrels, we would certainly be happy with anything over 200 million barrels.” Andreas also welcomes the opportunity to compete with the big names in this area: “In Norway, with StatoilHydro being such a major company, it’s good for them to provide for competition coming from foreign operators. We have qualified to be over here along with Shell and BP and Total to compete with StatoilHydro in going for future developments that will continue to secure Norwegian production.” He concludes: “We intend to continue extending the field life of our existing areas and also to look for independent developments further north where there is significant potential for further growth.”
Talisman Energy Norge AS
Services Oil and gas extraction