Electrification: Equinor's Sleipner and Gudrun Fields Start Partly Operating on Shore Power

The Sleipner field in the North Sea (Credit: Øyvind Gravås and Bo B. Randulff / Equinor)
The Sleipner field in the North Sea (Credit: Øyvind Gravås and Bo B. Randulff / Equinor)

The Sleipner field center, along with the Gudrun platform and other associated fields - operated by Equinor - is now partly operating on power from shore in a decarbonization effort that will reduce annual emissions from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) by 160,000 tonnes of CO2.

All installations on the Utsira High are now receiving power from shore, saving emissions amounting to about 1.2 million tonnes of CO₂ per year, according to Equinor.

The electrification of the installations on the Utsira High is in line with the plan for development and operation (PDO) for Johan Sverdrup phase 2, which was approved by the Norwegian parliament in 2019.

"Electrification is the most effective tool in our toolbox in our quest to achieve the national target of halving greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian oil and gas production by 2030," said Geir Tungesvik, executive vice president for Projects, Drilling & Procurement.

One of two operative gas turbines on the Sleipner A platform will gradually be shut down as a relevant systems transition to using power from shore. The other gas turbine will stand by as a back-up power source during a run-in phase. In the longer run, Sleipner will have the opportunity to fully operate on power from shore.

New Discoveries with Low-Emission Production

The Sleipner field centre has been supplied with onshore power via a cable from the Gina Krog platform since March 24, 2024. Starting on the same date, the Gudrun platform was connected to electricity through the existing cable to Sleipner.

The electrification of the Utsira High (Illustration: Equinor)

"The Sleipner area has delivered vast volumes of energy, created long-term ripple effects and contributed substantial values to the Norwegian society. With power from shore, we can develop new discoveries and resources from low-emission production, and gas export from the area can be maintained for a long time to come," said Kjetil Hove, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

The Sleipner fields are among the largest gas producers in the North Sea and serve as a hub for gas transport to Europe. Norwegian gas plays an important role in the EU's energy transition. Now, also the gas that would otherwise be burnt on the installations can be utilized more effectively in Europe.

"The electrification of the Sleipner field center has created important jobs and ripple effects for the Norwegian supply industry. I'm also very pleased with that we, our partners, and suppliers, have succeeded in implementing the project safely, with zero HSE incidents," Tungesvik said.

Overall investments in the project total close to $100 million (NOK 1.08 billion).

In 2020, the Sleipner partnership exercised an option with Aibel for an EPCIC contract (engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning) for the modification work on the Sleipner field center. NKT was awarded the contract to manufacture and lay the power cables.

The EPCIC contract has a value of about $64 million (NOK 700 million) and has contributed to 250 full-time equivalents at Aibel’s Stavanger office, offshore and at the shipyard in Haugesund. ABB has carried out substantial work as a sub-contractor within installation of high-voltage equipment and updating the power control system.

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