Located in the Norwegian North Sea, the Utgard field has been developed as a subsea tieback to the Equinor-operated Sleipner field

Utgard field development illustration

Image: Illustration of the Utgard field development Photo: courtesy of Equinor ASA.

Equinor has secured approval from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to begin production at the Utgard field in the North Sea, which has been developed with an investment of around 2.7bn Norwegian krone (£250m).

The Norwegian oil and gas giant plans to start production at the gas and condensate field in September 2019. According to estimates from Equinor, the expected total sales volumes from the Utgard field are 1.71 million standard cubic metre (Sm³) condensate, 2.73 billion Sm³ gas, and 0.56 million tonnes of natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Previously known as Alfa Sentral, the field is located on the UK-Norway median line. The Norwegian share of the gas and condensate field is 62%.

The installations and infrastructure pertaining to the Utgard development are located in the Norwegian sector.

According to the NPD, the consent for the start-up of the Utgard field covers the production licences 046E and 046F on the Norwegian shelf and the production licence 312 on the UK shelf.

Development of the Utgard field

Utgard is located 21km from the Sleipner field and has been developed as a subsea tieback to the latter. Production from the field will be done from two wells from a subsea template connected to the Sleipner T process platform at the Sleipner field through a pipeline and a communications cable.

The gas in Utgard is said to have a high CO2 content and, as a result, is expected to benefit from carbon cleaning and storage facilities at Sleipner.

NPD North Sea south development and operations assistant director Tove Francke said: “Utgard contributes to utilise available capacity on Sleipner, which is positive. The project ensures good and cost-effective utilisation of the facilities and the process capacity on Sleipner.

“We expect Utgard will create value both for the Norwegian society and for the Utgard and Sleipner licensees.”

Equinor is the operator of the Utgard field with a total of 76.44% stake held by it and its UK subsidiary. The company is partnered by Lotos Exploration and Production Norge (17.36%) and KUFPEC Norway (6.20%).

Contained in 110-120m of deep waters, the gas and condensate field was discovered by the 15/8-1 exploration well in 1982 and its plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in early 2017.