On 30 June at 21.56 CEST, the Martin Linge oil and gas field in the North Sea came on stream. The field is powered from shore, resulting in low CO2 emissions, and operated from its onshore control room.
“This is a big day for everyone working on the Martin Linge project, for Equinor and for our partner Petoro. I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to deliver this project,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for Projects, Drilling & Procurements.
Expected recoverable resources are approximately 260 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). At plateau the field will produce around 115 000 boe per day.
“Martin Linge is an important contribution to Norwegian oil and gas production. Thanks to new infrastructure in this area it will be possible to realise new discoveries in the future. Equinor has formed a cross-disciplinary team who is looking into the opportunities of a wider area surrounding Martin Linge,” says Rune Nedregaard, senior vice president for operations south of Exploration & Production Norway.
The Martin Linge platform receives power via the world’s longest alternating-current sea cable measuring 163 kilometres from the onshore substation at Kollsnes in Western Norway.
“Electrification is one of our main measures for reducing CO2 emissions from our activities,” says Nedregaard.
The platform was connected to shore power in December 2018 and was soon followed by the storage vessel on the Martin Linge field. This is the world’s first storage vessel receiving power from shore.
Martin Linge is also the first platform on the Norwegian continental shelf to be put on stream from shore. The production wells and processing plant are operated from the control room in Stavanger, and the offshore operators use tablets in the field to interact with their colleagues in the onshore control room and operations centre. Onshore control room will reduce costs in the operating phase.
The Martin Linge project has faced many challenges. Production was originally scheduled to start in 2016. The costs of the Martin Linge field development have risen to NOK 63 billion (2021 NOK), compared to the original 31.5 in the 2012 plan for development and operation (PDO).
Equinor acquired Total’s interests in the field in March 2018. At the same time, it took over the operatorship and responsibility for completing the field development project.
Approximately 2,500 people offshore and onshore have worked on preparing the platform for production. In general, offshore completion is challenging for a project extending over several winter seasons. The corona pandemic, with restrictions on personnel and other infection control measures, have also led to further delays.
“It has been a very demanding job, and more challenging than expected, but we have reached the finish line together with our suppliers and our partner Petoro. Martin Linge will now produce and create jobs and value for society for many years ahead,” says Nylund.