Equinor and its partners have secured approval for their plan for development and operation (PDO) from the Norwegian authorities for the NOK41bn ($4.7bn) Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project in the North Sea.

Equinor-Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project-pdo

Image: Equinor secures approval of its PDO for the Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project. Photo: courtesy of Håkon Fonseca Nordang / Equinor ASA.

The PDO for the Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project was submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in August 2018. The ministry approved the plan after it was cleared by the country’s parliament Storting in late April.

The Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project is expected to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2022. It will provide an additional production capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day from the offshore Norwegian field.

Equinor technology, projects and drilling executive vice president Anders Opedal said: “This is a big day for Equinor and the other Johan Sverdrup partners comprising Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total.

“Johan Sverdrup is a world-class field that will provide value to its owners and society for 50 years ahead with record-low emissions. This truly marks the beginning of the second development phase.”

In addition to the PDO approval, Equinor also announced the start of construction of the Johan Sverdrup field’s second processing platform (P2), which is taking place at Aibel’s yard in Haugesund. The processing platform, which weighs nearly 25,000 tonnes and comprises three modules, will increase production capacity on the Johan Sverdrup field from 440,000 barrels of oil per day to 660,000 barrels per day.

The project will see addition of the new processing platform to the field center along with modifications of the riser platform and the field center, and addition of five subsea templates.

On the other hand, the Johan Sverdrup phase 1 development is almost 90% finished and production is likely to begin in November 2019. Estimated to see an investment of NOK86bn ($9.87bn), the phase 1 project involves development of the accommodation and utility platform, processing platform, drilling platform and riser platform, three subsea installations, power from shore and an export pipeline for oil to Mongstad and gas to Kårstø.

Overall, the resource estimate of the Johan Sverdrup field is 2.2-3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

In March, Equinor awarded a subsea contract to TechnipFMC for the Johan Sverdrup phase 2 project under which the latter will be responsible for the construction and installation of the subsea production system.