Norway's Equinor has confirmed to Offshore Engineer that it has signed an agreement with FPSO owner Altera Infrastructure that could see the Petrojarl Knarr FPSO redeployed at the long-stalled Rosebank project in the UK North Sea.
The FPSO is currently producing oil from Shell's Knarr field, offshore Norway, where it has been since early 2015. In April 2020 Shell extended the Knarr contract to March 2022.
The Rosebank field, apparently Petrojarl Knarr FPSO's next location, is located 130 km northwest of the Shetland Islands in 1115 m water depth, and is seen as one of the largest undeveloped oil fields in the North Sea, which could hold more than 300 million barrels of recoverable oil.
It was discovered in 2004 and in 2019 Equinor acquired Chevron’s 40 percent operated interest in the Rosebank project in the West of Shetland region of the U.K. continental shelf, but the project has yet to be developed.
The sale marked Chevron's full exit from the project, for which it had planned to deploy a newbuild FPSO with a 100,000 b/d oil, 80 mmcf/d gas production capacity, with storage for about 1 million barrels. This was is to be the deepest moored facility on the UK Continental Shelf. Prior to the sale to Equinor, Chevron had planned to have the field online in 2024.
Still far from FID
Following reports of the Altera-Equinor Rosebank agreement emerging this week, Offshore Engineer reached out to Equinor and Altera for confirmation.
An Equinor spokesperson said: "It’s still early days, we’re still quite a bit away from FID – but I can confirm that we have signed a FEED agreement with Altera for the redeployment of Petrojarl Knarr at Rosebank."
Altera said in an emailed statement: "We are pleased to be part of this project. The Rosebank field with its harsh environment is a good fit for the asset and we look forward to working closely with Equinor through FEED-phase towards FID to ensure a potential redeployment of the Petrojarl Knarr with sustainable, low-emission solutions."
Back in mid-2019, before anybody knew there'd be a global pandemic, Equinor and its partners said they expected to reach a final investment decision (FID) for Rosebank by May 2022.
It remains unclear what the targeted FID, or start-up date for Rosebank is today. WorldEnergyReports FPSO Database shows 2027/28 as the estimated production start-up date.
According to Altera's 4Q report released earlier this month, the Petrojarl Knarr FPSO is expected to stop production on the Knarr field in the North Sea around May, 1 2022, and start decommissioning activities.