The round shaped platform is especially designed for drilling operations under challenging harsh climate conditions in the Arctic. It is built to withstand icing and to ensure that rain and snow drain naturally from the walls and roofs. Inside, the so-called Sevan 1000 platform has an oil storage capacity of one million barrels (159,000 m3).
The discovery well at Goliat field was drilled in 2000 and production was first planned for this year after the Norwegian Parliament approved the development proposal in 2009.
First plan was to start oil production this fall, but technical challenges with the platform construction have however delayed the planned production startup with one year.
“The current transportation plan for the Goliat FPSO is to sail from Ulsan, South Korea, in the spring of 2014. This means the platform could arrive in Hammerfest in July the same year provided everything goes according to today’s plan,” says Tom Gederø, Senior Communication Advisor with Eni Norge AS to BarentsObserver.
Tom Gederø maintains that production startup at the field a year from now still is the official plan. “Yes, that is correct. The official plan for production start at Goliat is still autumn of 2014.”
A source following the oil industry’s activities in the Barents Sea, speaking to BarentsObserver on the condition of anonymity, claims that challenges with how to deal with the excess natural gas in the reservoir are still unsolved and could delay production startup further.
Eni Norge AS dismisses this. “The goal is to avoid any further delays and produce first oil according to plan,” says Tom Gederø.
Norwegian weekly Teknisk Ukeblad also claims in an article that they have information indicating “soon-to-be-announced” new delays and increased costs.
“Several components to the processing plant are not properly dimensioned, and the project has become further delayed due to poor information flow between Eni as operator and the yard Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea,” writes Teknisk Ukeblad.
Eni Norge AS is operator of the Goliat field and holds a 65 percent share, while Statoil holds a 25 percent share.
Goliat will be the first operating oil field in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea and the second offshore oil production in the European part of the Arctic. Russia’s Prirazlomnaya platform in the Pechora Sea is likely to be the first with announced production start now in December.
Estimated recoverable oil reserves at Goliat are 174 million barrels (28 million Sm3). The development costs are approximately NOK 30 billion (€3,8 billion), according to the fact-site for Goliat by Eni Norge AS.