Symra and the tie-back to Ivar Aasen. (Credit: Aker BP)
Ivar Aasen Platform. (Credit: Norsk olje og gass at
Symra is estimated to contain around 50 million barrels of oil equivalent. (Credit: Berardo62/

The Symra Project is an oil and gas field being developed offshore Norway in the central North Sea.

Previously known as Lille Prinsen, Symra is in Production Licence (PL) 167, 167B, 167C. The licence partners are Aker BP (operator, 50%), Sval Energi (20%) and Equinor Energy (30%).

The offshore field was discovered in 2018 and apprised in 2021.

The Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) was submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) of Norway in December 2022. The ministry approved the plan in June 2023.

The partners will invest approximately $950m for the development of the field, which is planned to enter commercial operations in the first quarter of 2027.

It will be developed with Solveig Phase 2 as a joint project with drilling operations slated to begin in the third quarter (Q3) of 2025. The two developments contain estimated recoverable resources of 93 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Location of the Symra Discovery Project

The Symra Project will be located 5km northeast of the Ivar Aasen Production Platform in the North Sea in PL 167, 167B and 167C.

The field is located in the Utsirahøyden area at water depth of 110m.

Discovery and Drilling

Symra discovery was identified in 2018 by drilling the wellbore, 16/1-29 S.

It was drilled by the semi-submersible installation, Deepsea Bergen, to evaluate the prospect if it consists of Triassic sediments and has thin transgressive Jurassic sands on top like Johan Sverdrup.

The well encountered the Eocene Grid Formation and the Paleocene Heimdal Formation at 1,419m and 1,794m respectively. The two structures hosted gas over oil.

In Heimdal Formation, an oil-gas contact was found at 1,808.1m with presence of thin oil down to 1,809.2m; and in Grid Formation, it was found at 1,462.6m with free water level at 1,498.9m.

No Jurassic or Triassic sands were encountered, instead, oil filled Permian Zechstein Group Dolostone carbonates were found immediately below the Cretaceous Shetland Group.

Reservoir and Reserves

Symra discovery reservoirs host oil in the Zechstein Group of Permian Age and basement rocks beneath it. Additionally, the Intra Heather Sandstone of Middle Jurassic Age contains oil.

The reservoirs are situated at a depth of 1,800m.

Symra is estimated to contain around 50 million barrels of oil equivalent. Of this, oil constitutes 78% and gas constitutes 22% of reserves.

Symra Development Details

Symra field will be developed as a subsea-tieback to the Ivar Aasen Production Platform, located in North Sea.

It will involve drilling four wells via a four-slot subsea template.

Among them, one will be a tri-lateral well so that the field can have a total of six production well branches. Gas-lift will be received by the wells from the Edvard Greig via Ivar Aasen platform.

The project will produce hydrocarbons by pressure depletion. Additionally, pressure support by water injection is also under consideration.

After recovery, the hydrocarbons will be transferred to the Edvard Greig Platform through a pipeline via Ivar Aasen. The Edvard Greig Platform will process the production into final product for further transport.

The project will have a very low carbon footprint in the production phase as the host platform receives electricity from the Norwegian mainland.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the field will be approximately 1 kilo per produced barrel of oil equivalent, far below than the Norwegian Shelf (8 kilos) and worldwide (15 kilos) average.

Contractor Involved

Aibel, a leading company providing services to oil, gas, and offshore wind industries, has been selected by Aker BP to carry out modification works on the Ivar Aasen Platform related to subsea tieback of the Symra Project in March 2023.

The contract has a value of approximately NOK700m ($65.52m).

The company will start working on the contract by involving around 100 employees in yard, offshore, and offices. The engineering, procurement, and project management will be conducted from Aibel’s Stavanger office.

The construction is expected to commence at Haugesund yard in September 2023 and it will continue until May 2026. The project is expected to be completed by 2026 end.