The mega Johan Sverdrup field in the Norwegian NOrth Sea is expected to come on stream in October this year, one month ahead of schedule, operator Equinor announced on Thursday.
The Johan Sverdrup development continues to progress well through the final stages of preparation for operations. As a result, Equinor and its partners Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total, are accelerating the planned schedule for production start-up, the Norwegian energy company said.
Most of the hook-up and commissioning work now completed, Lundin Petroleum said in statement. Equinor said the current focus is on completing the testing of the equipment and systems needed for the full field center – spanning four platforms and three interconnected bridges and associated modules – to function and perform as one installation.
Assuming all testing can be completed without encountering any issues with critical equipment, start-up of production should be ready to commence during the month of October.
“Based on the remaining known scope of work, we are increasingly confident of starting production at Johan Sverdrup soon,” said Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, projects & drilling in Equinor.
”At the same time, given the very size of the Johan Sverdrup development, there will always be a risk that we in the final testing phase come across unforeseen issues that end up extending the start-up period. Ultimately, we’ll only start producing when it is safe and prudent to do so.”
During phase 1, Johan Sverdrup will produce 440 Mbopd when plateau production is reached by summer of 2020, increasing to 660 Mbopd after phase 2 commences in the fourth quarter 2022. At phase 2 plateau, Johan Sverdrup will contribute up to 25% of Norway’s total production of oil and gas, while power from shore gives the field carbon emissions intensity of just below 1 kg CO2 per barrel.
Since the Plan for development and operation (PDO) for Phase 1 of the Johan Sverdrup project was submitted in 2015, the project has seen both an acceleration in the start-up schedule as well as significant cost reduction throughout the large development from late December 2019 to now October.
“Around this time last year, we accelerated the expected schedule for production start-up of Johan Sverdrup to November 2019. Now, as we enter the final stretch of the project, we believe it is possible to start production up to one month earlier,” Opedal said.
After reaching plateau for the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development, expected during the summer of 2020, Equinor expects operating costs below $2 per barrel. The operator also expects cash flow from operations of around $50 per barrel in 2020, based on a real oil price of $70 per barrel, partly as a result of the phasing of tax payments in the ramp-up phase.
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