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State fund believes in a doubling of oil recovery

The new partner in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), the state-owned Nordsøfonden, believes it is realistic to extract a similar volume of oil from the Danish part of the North Sea as it has been the case so far due to investments in new technologies.

Photo: LARS KRABBE

Nordsøfonden, since July the owner of 20 percent of the DUC, assesses that it is possible to extract a considerably higher share of the North Sea oil than it is the case today.

Nordsøfonden, which represents the interests of the Danish State in the DUC and in 20 other licenses, has a declared goal of extracting as much oil as possible from the Danish underground, and the organisation thinks that it is possible to maintain the same high level of oil production as has been the case for the past 40 years if the industry invests in some of the new technologies which is under serious examination already today. This is not least the case with an optimisation of water injection into the chalk followed by the usage of CO2 as an injection into the extremely dense oil-filled chalk layers making working in the Danish underground considerably more challenging than working elsewhere such as e.g. Norway.

“If we maintain the production using today’s technologies we may reach a recovery rate of 30 percent. However, if we are able to make use of the technologies we believe will become usable within a ten-year period, I would think that a realistic goal for the next 30 years is to produce a similar volume of oil as we have done so far. Thereby, we will reach a recovery rate of about 40 percent”, Nordsøfonden Managing Director, Peter Helmer Steen, tells ShippingWatch.

Pressuring CO2

The CO2 technology is one of the methods from which the industry in general expects much and therefore a lot of research is made in the technology. However, several years of research and sophistication are required before the method of pressuring CO2 into the chalk layers in order to drive out more oil is ready to be implemented. The research concerns both security questions, the necessary deliveries of CO2 and the large investments which are to be made in the platforms and perhaps even the pipe systems which are to transport CO2 to the offshore fields.

“Nordsøfonden will ensure that several of the new technologies are developed and used. A lot of money is already spent in order to develop the CO2 technology both by the DUC partners and other players. When the investments in the new technologies are made, the volume of oil and gas will be enhanced. Our job is to apply constant pressure making sure there are enough projects in the pipeline to always invest in something which is capable of enhancing the production”, Peter Helmer Steen says.

Nordsøfonden’s share of the oil production is approximately 35,000 barrels per day. It is assessed that the Danish underground holds 11 billion barrels of oil.

Other than being a partner of the DUC, Nordsøfonden is a part of all new licenses and today, it is the third Danish oil and gas producer. Other than Nordsøfonden, the DUC consists of Maersk , Shell and Chevron.

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