Norway: Offshore Development Statoil Decides on Support Base for Johan Castberg Operation

Editor: Alexander Stark

On behalf of the licence partners, Statoil has announced their decision to support the Johan Castberg operation with a supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest and an operations organisation in Harstad. Recruitment of offshore personnel from Finnmark county is also prioritised, the company said on their website.

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Johan Castberg floating production vessel
Johan Castberg floating production vessel
(Source: Statoil)

Oslo/Norway — Expected to come on stream in 2022, the field will be operating for 30 years. The company will invest around NOK 1.15 billion (€ 121 million) per year in the operation of the field, amounting to around 1,700 man-years, of which around 500 will be performed in North Norway. These include both the direct and indirect spinoffs (Agenda Kaupang).

Johan Castberg is one of the largest projects in Statoil’s portfolio yet to be developed. A final investment decision regarding Johan Castberg is to be made towards the end of 2017.

“This has been a comprehensive process. We have studied several alternatives, and decided that Hammerfest and Harstad separately will be the best industrial solution for Johan Castberg,” says Knut Gjertsen, project director for Johan Castberg.

The Hammerfest supply base will have an employment effect of around 30-45 man-years, and the helicopter base around 12-15 man-years. Hammerfest has already established bases and has long experience in providing such services. Supporting the offshore organisation and further developing the field during production, the Harstad operations organisation is expected to have an employment effect of 40-45 man-years.

According to the company, Johan Castberg would benefit particularly from co-locating with the Norne and Aasta Hansteen organisations, which have some similar elements in their development concepts.

“To ensure a long-term development of petroleum-related specialist jobs in Finnmark, Statoil will, in collaboration with other operating companies, suppliers and local authorities before the plan for development and operation is submitted to the authorities, look at possible initiatives to upgrade the general petroleum competence level in Hammerfest and Finnmark. In the longer term this will lead to more local recruitment to the industry, and Finnmark may strengthen its position in the technology-driven development of the Barents Sea,” says Siri Espedal Kindem, senior vice president for the operations north cluster in Statoil.

Offshore Staff

Offshore the company will need a staff of 90-100 people distributed on three shifts. “We will seek to recruit as many as possible from Finnmark to the offshore organisation. We have therefore contacted the county administration and schools to launch an initiative to ensure good recruitment to the studies that will meet our offshore competence requirements,” says Kindem.

Johan Castberg development costs have been calculated at close to NOK 50 billion (€ 5,27 billion). The national employment during the development phase has been estimated at almost 47,000 man-years, of which close to 1,800 will be in North Norway. Statoil, together with the other operators of oil fields in the Barents Sea, are investigating the possibilities to find possible economic solutions for an oil terminal at Veidnes. The decisions are based on an analysis made by Agenda Kaupang.

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