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Johan Sverdrup project in North Sea begins production

Johan Sverdrup phase 1 : The first phase of the NOK 124 billion ($13.6 billion) Johan Sverdrup project in the Norwegian North Sea has produced its first oil, said operator Equinor and its partners.

Equinor, which is partnered by Lundin Petroleum, Petoro, Aker BP, and Total E&P Norge, expects to draw 440,000 barrels of oil per day from the first phase development of the Johan Sverdrup field.

Located on the Utsira High, the Johan Sverdrup field is likely to ramp up quickly with eight pre-drilled production wells being commissioned progressively, said Lundin Petroleum, which made the Johan Sverdrup discovery in 2010.

The company said that Johan Sverdrup phase 1 plateau production is anticipated to be achieved by summer 2020 and would need two to four new wells to be drilled, with the first of these slated to come on stream around the year-end.

Production from the offshore Norwegian field has been achieved more than two months ahead of the schedule. It has also been executed NOK 40 billion ($4.38 billion) lesser than the budget that was estimated in the field’s Plan for Development and Operation (PDO), which was approved in August 2015.

Johan Sverdrup project photo

Johan Sverdrup project begins production. Photo courtesy of Espen Rønnevik / Øyvind Gravås – Equinor ASA.

Johan Sverdrup investment

According to Equinor, the final investment cost for Johan Sverdrup phase 1 development has been NOK 83 billion ($9.1 billion).

The partners are moving ahead with the Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project with an investment of NOK 41 billion ($4.5bn) to add another 220,000 barrels of oil per day of production from the North Sea field. The Johan Sverdrup phase 2 development is anticipated to begin production in Q4 2022.

Johan Sverdrup reserves

The Johan Sverdrup project is expected to tap into an estimated 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent of recoverable reserves. Upon completion of the Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project, the North Sea field is likely to produce up to 660,000 barrels of oil per day.

Commenting on Johan Sverdrup production start-up, Eldar Sætre – president and CEO of Equinor said: “Johan Sverdrup coming on stream is a momentous occasion for Equinor, our partners and suppliers. At peak, this field will account for around one third of all oil production in Norway and deliver very valuable barrels with record low emissions. Johan Sverdrup is expected to generate income from production of more than NOK 1400 billion of which more than NOK 900 billion to the Norwegian state and society.”

Johan Sverdrup phase 1 development saw the installation of four platforms – a processing platform, a riser platform, drilling platform, and an accommodation and utility platform. Apart from that a power-from-shore project, three subsea installations for water injection were carried out as part of the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup project.

For transportation of the Johan Sverdrup production, an export pipeline has been laid out to deliver oil to Mongstad terminal and natural gas to Kårstø.

Johan Sverdrup ownership stakes

While Equinor holds a 42.6% stake in the Johan Sverdrup project, Lundin Norway has a 20% stake, and Petoro is the third-largest stakeholder with 17.36%. Aker BP and Total hold stakes of 11.5733% and 8.44%, respectively.

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