The Johan Sverdrup field, which is being developed with a total investment of NOK124bn (£11.2bn), has a resource estimate of 2.2-3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent

Johan Sverdrup project

Image: The Johan Sverdrup field is now expected to begin production in October 2019. Photo: courtesy of Espen Rønnevik/Øyvind Gravås - Equinor ASA.

Equinor and its partners are advancing production at the Johan Sverdrup field in the Norwegian part of the North Sea by a month to October 2019.

Earlier this week, the partners secured consent from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to start production from the offshore gas field.

Equinor said that the Johan Sverdrup project continues to progress well during the final stages of preparation for operations. Owing to this, the partners are fast tracking the planned schedule for production start-up.

The Johan Sverdrup field is being developed in two phases and it is the first of them which is getting ready to be brought on stream.

Phase 1 of the Johan Sverdrup project represents an investment of NOK83bn (£7.5bn) and has involved development of the processing platform, accommodation and utility platform, drilling platform and riser platform, three subsea installations, power from shore project, and an export pipeline to transport oil to Mongstad and gas to Kårstø.

Currently, the project partners are focusing on completing the testing of the equipment and systems required for the full field centre to work and perform as one installation.

The start-up of production in October will be subject to completion of all the testing without facing any issues with critical equipment.

Production at Johan Sverdrup field to start only if it is safe and prudent

Equinor projects and drilling technology executive vice president Anders Opedal said: “Based on the remaining known scope of work, we are increasingly confident of starting production at Johan Sverdrup soon.

“At the same time, given the very size of the Johan Sverdrup development, there will always be a risk that we in the final testing phase come across unforeseen issues that end up extending the start-up period. Ultimately, we’ll only start producing when it is safe and prudent to do so.”

On the other hand, the NOK41bn (£3.71bn) second phase development of the Johan Sverdrup field is targeted to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Equinor is the operator of the Johan Sverdrup field with 42.6% stake and is partnered by Lundin Petroleum (20%), Petoro (17.3%), Aker BP (11.5%), and Total E&P Norge (8.4%).