The facility was officially named by Dagny Lund, one of the first women to be employed on Ekofisk. Embla was the eighth field in the Greater Ekofisk Area to be brought on stream.
It was expected to produce 35 000 barrels per day from a reservoir 4 000 metres beneath the seabed. Four wells came on stream initially, with monitoring and control from Eldfisk FTP.
This was the first time on the Norwegian continental shelf that oil had been recovered from 4 200-4 600 metres down, with such extreme pressure and temperature conditions.
Embla stood 24 kilometres south of the Ekofisk Complex at the southern end of block 2/7. It was included in production licence 018, awarded to Phillips as operator under Norway’s first licensing round in 1965.
The field was drilled as early as 1974, but the technical equipment available at the time could not test a well at that depth and with such high pressure and temperature.
It was 1988 before the first official discovery well was tested, and the government approved the plan for development and operation (PDO) in December 1990.
The actual installation was a riser platform with helideck, control room, workshop, test separator, glycol pump system, lifeboat and pick-up boat.
It also accommodated an accommodation module with canteen, coffee room, galley, changing room and toilets. Twelve fold-up beds were provided.
Although the platform is normally unmanned, these facilities are taken into use if maintenance personnel become weatherbound and must stay the night.
The Embla project set many records for Phillips – including the first time oil was produced from the North Sea ”cellar”, as the deeper formations are known.
Second, as mentioned above, it was first remotely operated and unmanned facility on Ekofisk. And its oil and gas export pipeline was fabricated in stainless steel.
Finally, the development was pursued at a record pace. The first well was tested in 1988, and the platform came on stream as early as 12 May 1993 – rapid by North Sea standards.Ekofisk tank has to shut downSolutions for continued operation