Equinor, on behalf of its partner KUFPEC Norway, has submitted a plan for development and operation (PDO) of the Eirin gas field in the North Sea to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

The offshore field holds an estimated 27.6 million barrels of recoverable reserves, with the majority consisting of natural gas.

Discovered in 1978, the Eirin gas field is intended to be developed as a subsea tieback to the Equinor-operated Gina Krog platform, by leveraging existing facilities and infrastructure.

The anticipated total investment for the Eirin gas field is more than NOK4bn ($371.4m).

Equinor holds an operating stake of 78.2% in the field, while KUFPEC Norway owns the remaining stake of 21.8%.

Equinor field life extension (FLX) senior vice president Camilla Salthe said: “Utilising Gina Krog’s infrastructure will enable Eirin to bring new gas to Europe fast, with good profitability and low CO2 emissions from production. The development will extend Gina Krog’s productive life from 2029 to 2036, and will be vital for the Sleipner area.”

According to Equinor, during the energy crisis of 2021, there was a strong collaborative effort with Norwegian authorities to maximise gas deliveries to Europe.

A significant contribution to the effort was the increased gas exports from Gina Krog, achieved by exporting gas that had previously been used for enhancing oil recovery. However, this also underscored the urgency of expediting projects aimed at extending the field’s lifespan.

Eirin plays a pivotal role in this endeavour, and the project has been rapidly developed and matured with production anticipated to begin as soon as 2025, said Equinor.

Equinor FLX Projects vice president Ketil Rongved said: “Extending Gina Krog’s productive life also gives us the opportunity to mature additional new reserves in the area. We’re still seeing possibilities for new discoveries, which is why Eirin’s new subsea facility will enable tie-in of new fields.”

Through the electrification of Gina Krog and the partial electrification of Sleipner, the production from Eirin is expected to achieve minimal emissions, totalling three kilograms of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalents, said Equinor.

In June 2023, the Norwegian oil and gas major awarded a letter of award to Aker Solutions to deliver the subsea production system and control umbilical for the Eirin gas field development.