Green light for giant field

Source: press release, 2 September 2019

Go-ahead: start-up of the Johan Sverdrup is planned by the end of 2019
Go-ahead: start-up of the Johan Sverdrup is planned by the end of 2019 (photo: Equinor)

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted its consent for start-up of the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea. The field is expected to produce oil for the next 40 years.

Operator Equinor plans start-up sometime this autumn for the first phase of the field development. Construction phase two is slated to start in the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The Johan Sverdrup field is a shining example of the possibilities and the values that can be achieved through exploration of mature petroleum provinces on the shelf,” says Ingrid Sølvberg, Director Development and operations in the NPD.

She reminds us that Johan Sverdrup is the third largest oil field on the Norwegian shelf – measured in reserves. Only Statfjord and Ekofisk, both also in the North Sea, are larger.

The field is located in blocks 16/2, 16/3, 16/5 and 16/6, 155 kilometres west of Karmøy and 40 kilometres south of the Grane field. The field was proven by Lundin in the autumn of 2010 through well 16/2-6 (Avaldsnes).

The field comprises three production licences; 265, 501 and 502, in addition to 501B. The Johan Sverdrup Unit (JSU) was established by a decision in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in July 2015. Consent for start-up of the field is being granted to the licensees in the Johan Sverdrup Unit (JSU).

According to Equinor, investment costs for development of the first stage of construction are expected to be NOK 83 billion.

Estimates indicate that the total recoverable reserves are about 430 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (2.7 billion barrels o.e.)

About 95% of this is oil, 3% is dry gas and the rest is NGL (natural gas liquids). The field has a production capacity of 105,000 cubic metres of oil per day (660,000 bbls per day).

Sølvberg notes that the job is not done and that the NPD focuses on ensuring that the licensees “continue to work to develop production technology and that they make decisions to promote measures that can enhance value creation from the field.”