Norsk Agip as Operator of the PL 229 license proved in late 2000 the first real oil discovery in the Hammerfest Basin, Barents Sea. After 20 years of exploration drilling, there is just one commercial discovery in the basin, the Snohvit gas development. Due to the limited commercial success so far the number of oil companies interested in the area has decreased. The Goliat oil discovery came therefore as a surprise to the Norwegian Oil Industry.The field is situated in an environmentally sensitive area. There are substantial fish resources in the Barents Sea and the fishing industry employs a large percentage of the local population.The weather conditions are characterised by low winter temperatures that could extend over longer periods. The cold climate represents the main challenge compared to operations in the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea. Wind and wave forces in the Barents Sea are similar to the conditions found in the areas further south. No free ice or permanent freezing of the sea is expected.Exploration activities up till now have been subject to seasonal limitation specific for each area. For the Goliat area this means that as per today exploration drilling operations in the reservoir are only allowed from September 1 to January 15.At present the Norwegian Authorities are conducting a regional environmental study to investigate the consequences for year round petroleum activity in the northern areas including the Barents Sea and Goliat.After a screening of different development concepts the most interesting solution includes a FPSO connected to subsea wells by risers and flowlines. The economical evaluation indicates however, that the project presently is a bit below the economical acceptable thresholds and that further exploration activities are recommended in order to prove additional reserves.Considering the limited reserves of the Goliat field, the challenge for the future will be to define an economical attractive development project respecting the environmental and cold climate requirements.

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