Wintershall reports that 25 years ago the Brage offshore platform produced its first barrel of oil. Wintershall has operated the field northwest of Bergen since 2013.
'When Wintershall acquired the Brage oilfield from Equinor, we set ourselves the goal of prolonging the lifetime of Brage considerably. Our team introduced new production processes, optimized the work procedures and found technically efficient solutions. These should enable the field to keep producing to 2030 and beyond,' says Martin Bachmann, who is responsible on Wintershall's Executive Board for exploration and production in Europe and the Middle East. 'Approximately half of the current production on Brage comes from wells drilled under Wintershall's operatorship', adds Bachmann.
The boost follows a year-long drill break in 2016, when Wintershall took the opportunity to streamline its processes and align contracts to incentivise safe, efficient drilling of the wells. The result is some of the most efficient wells ever drilled on Brage. In addition, comprehensive maintenance was carried out this summer – the largest turnaround in the platform's history. The activities on Brage is part of approximately €2 billion that Wintershall is spending on the Norwegian Continental Shelf between 2017 and 2020.
Brage was Wintershall's first operated offshore platform on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. With the takeover of Brage's operatorship, Wintershall Norge covered the entire E&P value chain in Norway: from the exploration and drilling to the development and subsequent production of crude oil and natural gas. 'Brage was the decisive cornerstone for our development towards becoming one of the largest gas and oil producers in Norway,' says Hugo Dijkgraaf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge. Today the company is also the operator of the subsea fields Maria and Vega, in addition to Nova, which is currently under development.
For all its activities in Norway Wintershall adopts the 'One Team' approach: project management with close involvement of stakeholders, partners and suppliers. This enables efficiency and HSE performance to be continuously improved across all activities – an approach which was developed at Brage and is practised by the up to 130 employees on the platform.
Kjell Skjervheim was the first Offshore Installation Manager on Brage and he is impressed by what he sees today.
'Brage started production in 1993, during the golden age of developments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. We managed to begin production safely, under budget and three months ahead of time, and we were operating at almost 100 percent uptime from day one. We knew that it was an amazing field and platform, but we could never have imagined that it would still be going strong 25 years later,' he says.