Billionaire Roekke Sees Sverdrup Oil Recovery Rate Above 70%

The recovery rate at the Johan Sverdrup field, Norway’s biggest crude discovery in decades, could beat forecast and reach more than 70 percent, according to Aker ASA’s billionaire chairman Kjell Inge Roekke.

“I’m a technology optimist,” Roekke said in his annual letter to Aker shareholders. “This, combined with the field’s high reservoir quality, makes me believe that the potential recovery factor will exceed 70 percent.”

Aker is a stakeholder in Sverdrup through its 50 percent ownership of Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, which has interests in two of the three licenses that make up the field. The operator, Statoil ASA, has said as much as 70 percent of the oil could eventually be recovered from the North Sea field that will deliver a quarter of Norway’s output by the next decade.

Sverdrup revived optimism in Norway’s oil and gas industry when it was discovered in two parts by Lundin Petroleum AB and Statoil in 2010 and 2011. Resources are estimated at 1.8 billion barrels to 2.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, based on recovery of about 60 percent. That could make Sverdrup the biggest oil discovery off Norway since Statfjord in 1974.

Det Norske, which owns 20 percent of one license and 22 percent of another, won’t pay dividends to shareholders until 2020 at the earliest, Roekke said in his letter.

“As an active owner of Det Norske, Aker is focused on contributing to a robust long-term funding solution for Det Norske that does not involve undue commitments of equity,” he said.

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