Equinor-operated Visund Nord improved oil recovery (IOR) project came on stream two months ahead of schedule.The project has further been delivered with no serious HSE incidents and well below budget, Equinor noted.“It took 21 months from the licence partners chose the concept until production started. This is a new fast-track record for Equinor,” says Torger Rød, senior vice president for project development in Equinor.Visund Nord IOR is a subsea development with two new wells in a new subsea template, which is tied back to an existing template on Visund. The oil is piped via the existing template to the Visund platform.The project provides 13.3 million new barrels of oil to the Visund field, 6% more than originally estimated. When the investment decision was made the costs were estimated at NOK 1.5 billion. During the execution phase they were reduced to NOK 1.3 billion.“We are delivering well within the downward adjusted budget. The project has a competitive break-even price and will be profitable even with an oil price well below the current level,” says project director Tone Kristin Børslid.Visund Nord IOR is a fast-track development focusing on simplification, standardisation and continous improvement throughout the project phase:“We are utilising the existing infrastructure effectively as we are routing the oil via the Visund C template which is located 70 metres away. The new template is a copy of this template. We have achieved synergies with other projects and we have even had good weather during the installations, ” she says.She further underlines that they have never compromised on safety, which is confirmed by the HSE statistics.TechnipFMC, who also delivered Visund C, has been responsible for everything on the seabed through the EPCI contract, implying that the company has been in charge of engineering, procurement, construction and installation. The two wells were drilled by Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig.The project has now been handed over to the operations unit, providing 13.3 million new barrels of oil that will be produced via a field that will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year:“Contributing strongly to the Visund field production, Visund Nord IOR is an example of the type of projects that will be more common on the Norwegian continental shelf in the future: Smaller developments tied back to existing infrastructure. This will allow us to develop new discoveries at a lower cost, ensuring both longer field life and jobs on existing fields,” says Gunnar Nakken, senior vice president for operations west in Equinor.The Visund licence partners are: Equinor Energy A/S (operator) 53.2%, Petoro A/S 30%, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS 9.1% and Repsol Norge A/S 7.7%.
The Antigua and Barbuda government says investigations will be done to ascertain whether any former government minister should be charged in connection with a bribery scandal involving a former United Nations based diplomat.Information Minister Melford Nicholas told reporters following Friday’s weekly Cabinet meeting that the Gaston Browne administration had received diplomatic notes from the United States indicating “that there has been clear breaches of Antiguan law dealing with money laundering and racketeering.“This is certainly a matter that the Gaston Browne administration sees as grave,” he told reporters.In October 2015, John Ashe, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly, pleaded not guilty to criminal charges of filing fraudulent income tax returns and evading tax payments to the US government on more than US$1.3 million he is accused of receiving in bribes dating to 2011, which the US has traced.Ashe, the Antigua and Barbuda diplomat, died while awaiting trial.Court records state that a complaint had been brought by the United States attorney for the Southern District, charging the former diplomat, who once served as president of the United Nations General Assembly between 2013-14 and five others, including a billionaire developer from the Chinese territory of Macau.The complaint alleges that the five, including billionaire Ng Lap Seng, also known as David Ng, paid bribes to the former Antigua and Barbuda diplomat in exchange for “benefits from the UN and the government of Antigua and Barbuda”.Among the allegations are that Ashe “accepted over US$500,000 of bribes” facilitated by three of the defendants — Ng, Jeff C Yin and Francis Lorenzo — in an effort to build “a multi-billion dollar, Serious implications Browne had said then that the incident had “serious implications for the country and that the United States can be assured of his administration’s support”.Nicholas told reporters Friday that while the administration had not adhered to a request from Washington to waive Ashe’s diplomatic status, those people residing here implicated in the scandal might not be so lucky.“Based on what has been uncovered in the United States courts….I think it behooves us to do the right thing to ensure that we too undertake the necessary investigations internally.“As such the Attorney General has been asked to refer the file that we have received from the United States courts to the Director of Public Prosecutions for him to make a determination in respect of where we go from here,” Nicholas said.