Field/project development

Equinor Awards Concept Study Contracts for Wisting Development

Norwegian oil firm chooses Aker, Sevan, TechnipFMC and others to continue studying $8-billion-plus Barents Sea development.

A circular FPSO is being used as the base case for the Wisting development destined for the Barents Sea.
SOURCE: Equinor

Equinor has awarded contracts for concept studies to advance the Wisting project development toward concept selection by mid-year 2022, and ultimately a final investment decision by the end of 2022. The operator has tapped Aker Solutions, KBR, Sevan SSP, and Aibel related to the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, and Aker Solutions, TechnipFMC, OneSubsea Processing, IKM Ocean Design, and Kongsberg Maritime for the subsea production and processing equipment, umbilicals, risers, and flowlines .

The Aker Solutions contract covers front-end engineering and design of the FPSO. Valued at around $40.3 million, the study includes an option for engineering, procurement, construction, and installation valued at $922 million to $1.38 billion, according to Equinor.

The Wisting field is in the Barents Sea and is estimated to hold close to 500 million BOE. Equinor expects capital investments related to the development to be as much as $8.6 billion. The concept chosen for the development involves a circular FPSO and integrated power-from-shore, resulting in low CO2 emissions from the field. If developed, Wisting will become the world’s northernmost oil field.

Map of the Wisting field in the Barents Sea.

“Wisting is a considerable oil field in the Barents Sea, and we are cooperating well with our partners in further maturing the project,” said Trond Bokn, acting senior vice president for project development in Equinor. “Founded on experience and synergy potential within the project-portfolio we have assessed different development alternatives to identify potential solutions for a cost-effective and optimal field development.”

The Wisting partners have plans for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions from activities on the Norwegian continental shelf. They are focused on reducing the carbon footprint of the production to the greatest extent feasible.

“Electrification is considered a possible option for reducing field emissions,” added Bokn. “The project will study a power-from-shore solution for a circular FPSO going forward.”

In 2019, Norwegian authorities approved a transfer of the Wisting operatorship to Equinor in the development phase.

Startup of production is expected in 2028.

Equinor holds a 35% working interest. Swedish oil company Lundin recently announced plans to purchase OMV's stake in the field, raising its stake to 35%. Petoro holds a 20% share, and Japan’s Idemitsu, 10%.