The Snorre oil field located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) was discovered in 1979 and brought on stream in August 1992. The offshore field is undergoing expansion to extend its production life beyond 2040 and recover an additional 200 million barrels of oil.

The key contracts were awarded in December 2017, while the field expansion plan was approved by the Norwegian Authorities in July 2018.

The Snorre field is operated by Equinor Energy which holds a 33.28% stake, while the other field development partners are Petoro (30%), Var Energi (18.55%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (9.6%), and Wintershall Dea Norge (8.57%).

Var Energi picked up a 17.44% stake in Snorre field through the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s upstream assets in Norway in December 2019.

Location and reservoir details

The Snorre field is located in blocks 34/4 and 34/7 in the Tampen area the northern North Sea, approximately 150km west of Floro, Norway. The water depth in the field area ranges from 295m to 380m.

The field’s reservoir is situated at a depth ranging from 2,000m to 2,700m beneath the seabed and comprises the Lunde and Statfjord sandstone formations of the Triassic and Lower Jurassic ages.

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the remaining recoverable reserves in the Snorre field are estimated to be 566.5 million barrels of oil.

Snorre field infrastructure facilities

The original plan for the Snorre field development was approved by the Norwegian authorities in 1988. The offshore field comprises two platforms, namely Snorre A and Snorre B, and a subsea tieback called Snorre UPA.

The Snorre A platform, situated in the southern part of the field, came on stream in August 1992. It is a tension-leg platform with integrated production, drilling, and living quarters unit.

The Snorre UPA, situated in the central part of the field, is a subsea development tied-back to the Snorre A platform. The Snorre A platform also receives well stream from the nearby Vigdis field.

The Snorre B platform, situated in the northern part of the field, started production in June 2001. It is a semi-submersible platform with integrated production, drilling, and living quarters facilities.

Snorre A is located approximately 7km south of Snorre B. The plan for development and operation of the Snorre B was approved by the Norwegian authorities in 1998.

Snorre field expansion project

The Snorre field expansion project includes six new subsea templates with four wells each, the Snorre A platform upgrade, and the import and injection of additional gas from another field to support enhanced oil recovery.

A total of 24 wells, including 12 production wells and 12 injection wells, are planned to be drilled as part of the expansion project.

The Snorre A platform is being modified to handle the well stream from the new subsea development, as well as to supply water and gas for the new injection wells. A Riser Hang-Off module was installed on the Snorre A platform with the use of the world’s biggest crane vessel Sleipnir in April 2020.

The Snorre gas import system, a part of the expansion project, involves the construction of a 24km-long, 12in-diameter gas pipeline to import gas from the Gullfaks field.

The expansion project is expected to commence production in 2021.

Contracts awarded for the Snorre field expansion

TechnipFMC received an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract for the subsea production systems, including six subsea templates and manifolds for the Snorre field expansion project in December 2017.

TechnipFMC also received a separate contract for the Snorre gas import system in June 2020.

Subsea7 was contracted for the engineering, fabrication, and installation of three pipeline bundles and 31 spools for the Snorre field expansion project in December 2017. The pipeline bundle consists of pipe-in-pipe insulated production line, gas injection line, water injection line, chemical supplies line, hydraulics line, electrical line, and fibre optic line.

Aibel was awarded a contract worth approximately £143m ($191m) for extensive modifications on the Snorre A platform in December 2017. The contract also included the installation of a new 600t Riser Hang-Off module.

Aibel also performed the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study for the modifications on the Snorre A platform before receiving this contract.

Transocean received a contract to drill wells for the Snorre expansion project in December 2017.

DeepOcean was contracted to perform marine installations for the Snorre expansion project in January 2018. The work scope included the installation of six integrated subsea template structures and manifolds as well as the installation of riser systems and umbilical systems on the Snorre A platform.

DeepOcean’s construction vessel Edda Freya was used to install two subsea templates and six manifolds in June 2020.