Phillips Petroleum Company Norway, operator of the Ekofisk-area fields in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, has restarted the Ekofisk Complex after a shutdown April 22 to repair a gas cooler. Full production is expected early in the week.
Upon inspection, maintenance crews found a single hole in one of the 3,500 small gas-carrying tubes within the gas cooler on the 2/4 J platform. Phillips removed the tube and plugged the connection. The company is investigating the cause of the formation of the hole.
During the shutdown, the company also was able to repair a poorly performing low-pressure separator and complete priority maintenance work, part of the work originally scheduled for an August shutdown.
The company expects new production from UK North Sea fields that began producing in the first quarter, as well as offshore Australian fields acquired from BHP, to more than offset production lost during the second quarter from the 10-day shutdown of the Ekofisk Complex.
Phillips still plans to shut down the Ekofisk Complex for one week in August to eliminate production bottlenecks in the gas processing facilities. Materials were not available for the company to make these modifications during the April 22 shutdown.
Phillips Norway, a division of Phillips Petroleum Company, has a 35.11% interest in Ekofisk, and operates the facilities in the Ekofisk area on behalf of other members of the Phillips Norway Group: Fina Exploration Norway SCA, 28.5%; Norsk Agip A/S, 12.389%; Elf Petroleum Norge A.S., 8.03%; Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s, 6.37%; TOTAL Norge A.S, 3.37%; Statoil, 0.95%; Norway direct financial interest, 5%; and Saga Petroleum ASA, 0.289%.