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The Åsgard A FPSO. Image courtesy of Øyvind Hagen/Statoil ASA.

Norway’s Statoil kicked off production on Friday at the Smørbukk South Extension from the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

The project is now producing oil and gas through a combination of wells with long well sections and new completion technology from a reservoir previously regarded as not feasible to develop, the company said.

The reserves in the Smørbukk South Extension project are estimated to be 16.5 million barrels oil equivalent and are expected to contribute significantly to  production from the Åsgard A FPSO.

Pending production experience, a gas injection well will be drilled to further boost the recovery from Smørbukk South Extension.

The field was discovered in 1985 but, due to low permeability, the volumes were regarded as not economical to develop.

The hydrocarbons in the Smørbukk South Extension project are located in reservoirs with varying porosity ranging from “bricks to tiles.”

“This has been a world class challenge. Very few offshore fields have been developed with such low permeability under normal pressure conditions,”asset owner representative Ove Andre Pettersen said.

Statoil said drilling long horizontal reservoir sections was the key to accessing the tight reservoirs at the site.

At Smørbukk South Extension a multilateral production well with about 17,060 foot reservoir exposure has been drilled.

The multilateral well, drilled by Deepsea Bergen, was delivered well below estimated time and cost, Statoil said.

“The project is delivered below the initial sanctioned cost estimate at sanctioning and exactly on the date of startup. The future of the NCS is to a large degree dependent on cost-efficient development of small but important projects like Smørbukk South Extension,” Pettersen added.

The Åsgard field lies on the Halten Bank in the Norwegian Sea, about 124 miles off the coast of mid-Norway and 31 miles south of Heidrun.

The field is comprised of the the Midgard, Smørbukk and Smørbukk South discoveries and is one of the largest developments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with 52 wells drilled through 16 seabed templates.