The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has given its consent to allow Equinor to continue to use the Gullfaks C platform on the Gullfaks field in the North Sea up to mid-2036.
The Gullfaks C platform has been producing oil and gas from the Gullfaks field since January 1990. The platform, which was installed in a water depth of 216m deep, has a design lifetime of 30 years.
Equinor, in its application, seeking extension of the platform, said that it can be profitably operated up to 2032. The company also said that there is an option to extend that further in connection with maturing new improved recovery (IOR) projects on the North Sea oil and gas field.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has approved the Gullfaks C platform to be used until 30 June 2036, which covers the entire period of the production licence.
The regulator said that there is a need for the platform to operate further to recover remaining resources on the Gullfaks field and also to be a potential host platform for other deposits in the adjacent area.
Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, in a statement, said: “Among other things, Gullfaks C is key to recovering oil from the tight layers in the Shetland group and the Lista formation over Gullfaks. If the facility is operated further in a cost-effective and safe manner, there is a good potential for resource growth and extended production.”
The Gullfaks C platform is one of three large Condeep concrete platforms on the Gullfaks field apart from the Gullfaks A and Gullfaks B platforms, which have been in production since December 1986 and February 1988, respectively.
The Gullfaks C facility like the Gullfaks A and Gullfaks B platforms has integrated process facilities, drilling facilities and living quarters. The offshore production platform also treats and exports oil and gas produced from the Gullfaks Sør, Gimle and Visund Sør fields.
The production from the Tordis field is also processed in a separate facility on the Gullfaks C platform.
In August 2016, Equinor, then called Statoil, secured approval from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to extend lifetime of the Gullfaks B platform until 1 January 2036.