Equinor and partners Petoro, Shell, Total and ConocoPhillips have decided in favour of Troll West electrification, and have submited the plan for development and operation to the minister of petroleum and energy. The decision includes partial electrification of the Troll B platform and full electrification of Troll C in the North Sea.
This will cut CO2 emissions by almost half a million tonnes per year, i.e., the equivalent of more than 3% of total emissions from oil and gas production and 1% of total emissions in Norway. NOx emissions from the field will be reduced by some 1,700 tonnes per year.
“Electrification is essential to successful reduction of the emissions from the NCS, and we have ambitious plans for this. The partnership’s decision to electrify Troll B and Troll C will cut emissions substantially. The Troll area will deliver enormous volumes of low-emission energy for many decades, adding great value for the companies and for Norway,” says Kjetil Hove, Equinor’s executive vice president for Development & Production Norway.
Capital expenditures total about NOK 7.9 billion. The project has been pledged a total of NOK 520 million in financial support from the Norwegian NOx fund.
“I am very pleased that we can realise Troll B and C electrification, a project that will help cut emissions on the NCS significantly. I am also pleased that we, in these challenging times, are able to sanction projects that help create great value for society and valuable activity for the suppliers. We expect that about 70% of the investments in this project will go to companies in Norway,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects & Drilling.
“The temporary changes to the petroleum tax regime adopted by Parliament as a result of Covid-19 have enabled us to implement several of the projects planned prior to the pandemic,” Nylund says.
The subsea cable to the Troll B and C platforms will have a landfall at Kollsnes in Øygarden west of Bergen. A high-voltage subsea cable will run from Kollsnes to Troll B, and one from Troll B to Troll C.
Troll West electrification includes full electrification of Troll C, and partial electrification of Troll B. This means that both platforms’ current power demand will be met from shore. In addition, the two gas export compressors on Troll C currently driven by gas turbines will be replaced by electric motors. The infrastructure at Kollsnes and cable out to the platform will be designed for a possible future full electrification also of Troll B.
The Troll A platform, which came on stream in 1996, was the first electrified installation on the NCS.
Generating high activity and jobs in Norway
Troll West electrification project will require substantial deliveries of goods and services. This will generate value and jobs for Norwegian industry and the Norwegian society.
Aker Solutions has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for modifications enabling the Troll B and C topsides to receive power from shore. Worth around NOK 2.9 billion the contract will generate about 1000 man-years of work for the supplier during the project period. Engineering will be performed from Aker Solution’s Bergen office, and construction will take place at the Stord yard. The supplier estimates that a total of 4,000 people will be involved in the work, including sub-contractors.
Skanska has been awarded a contract for the construction of a new transformer substation, cable trenches and landfall at Kollsnes. The contract is worth around NOK 390 million. The work will be headed by Skanska’s construction division in Bergen. The project is estimated to generate around 100 man-years of work for Skanska and sub-suppliers during the project period.
NKT has been awarded a contract for the production and installation of a high-voltage subsea cable from Kollsnes to Troll B and from Troll B to Troll C. The contract is worth about NOK 1 billion. Cable production will take place at their factory in Karlskrona, Sweden, and they will use their vessel NKT Victoria for the cable laying work.
On 26 March 2021 the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted Equinor a concession to construct, own and operate the necessary electrical installations to supply the Troll B and Troll C platforms with power from shore.
According to plan Troll B will be partially electrified in the first quarter of 2024, and Troll C will be fully electrified by the second quarter of 2026.
The Troll field – a giant on the NCS
The Troll field is a giant in the North Sea, and the most prolific field on the NCS. The field has delivered, and will long continue to generate, enormous values for the Norwegian society. Historical revenues since 1995 total about NOK 1,650 billion, most of which has gone to the Norwegian state. Oil production at Troll is in the tail end phase, whereas only half of the gas resources have been produced.
The Troll field is operated from Equinor’s operations organisation at Sandsli in Bergen.
Troll Unit partners: Equinor 30.6 % (operator), Petoro 56 %, Shell 8.1 %, Total 3.7 %, ConocoPhillips 1.6 %