“The North Sea is a Highly Promising Mature Region”


From Glendronach and Tyra to Culzean and Johan Sverdrup, Total is riding the North Sea wave. Michael Borrell, Senior Vice President, North Sea & Russia in Exploration & Production, talks about Total’s recent successes in this promising mature region.

Several announcements have been made about the North Sea in recent days. The first was the Glendronach discovery.

Michael Borrell / The discovery of the Glendronach gas field in the West of Shetland area off the coast of the United Kingdom is very important. It’s a success for Exploration, a validation of the mature basin nearby to infrastructure exploration strategy, which involves scouting for resources close to our fields. In addition, we’ll be able to develop it as a short-cycle project; due to its geographical proximity to Edradour, it can be tied back to the existing facilities developed for Laggan-Tormore and the gas processed at the Shetland Gas Plant. Glendronach will start producing next year. Synergies on infrastructure, short-cycle projects and optimized development costs are all exactly in line with our strategy. For our affiliate, Total E&P UK, it’s great news and will extend the life of the West of Shetland infrastructure.

After the acquisition of Maersk Oil, is Total investing more in Denmark?

M.B. / Yes, we are investing more by increasing our interest in the Danish Underground Consortium, or DUC. The consortium operates 15 offshore fields that account for 90% of the country’s oil and gas production. We’re acquiring Chevron’s 12% interest to increase our stake in these assets to 43%, with the aim of further levering our existing operator position. The transaction allows us to increase our share in the Tyra redevelopment project. It is this complex project that will set us up for the decades ahead offshore Denmark. Once complete in 2022 the Tyra field’s production capacity will be 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d). Through the integration of Maersk Oil into Total and the teams we set up in Copenhagen we made a long term commitment to Denmark. Our new investment demonstrates our confidence in the value the country provides. 

Johan Sverdrup in Norway, one of Maersk Oil’s assets, has provided a number of surprises.

M.B. / Yes, that’s right. After comprehensive appraisal work, operator Equinor re-evaluated Johan Sverdrup’s reserves upwards. They are now estimated at 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Development costs for this Norwegian project, meanwhile, have continued to fall. It’s great news for this giant project, phase 1 of which will come on stream next year and it ultimately will produce 660,000 barrels of oil per day. Together with the 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the Culzean field in the UK, which will also start up in 2019, the Tyra redevelopment and the Glendronach discovery we are re-energizing the North Sea. The region will contribute in a major way to the growth of Total’s production in the coming years. 

Key Figures

  • No. 2 operator in the North Sea
  • 2019 start-ups:
    • Culzean, operator, 100,000 boe/day
    • Johan Sverdrup, 660,000 b/day
    • Tyra Future, 60,000 boe/day
    • Glendronach