Equinor Brings $4.9-Billion Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 Online

Operator also moves forward with electrification of the Njord field.

Johan Sverdrup.PNG
Phase 2 of the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea was brought on stream the morning of 15 December.
SOURCE: Equinor

Norwegian producer Equinor has turned the taps on its $4.9 billion Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 project in the North Sea, comprising a new platform, five new subsea systems, 28 new wells, a new module for the existing riser platform, and facilities to send power from shore to the Utsira High area. At plateau, the Johan Sverdrup field in total will produce 720,000 BOPD, aiming to rise to 755,000 B/D.

At those rates, Johan Sverdrup can meet 6 to 7% of the daily oil demand in Europe, according to Equinor. Recoverable volumes in the field total 2.7 billion BOE. At plateau production, every third Norwegian oil barrel will come from this field, the third-largest on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Johan Sverdrup Phase 1 came on stream in October 2019. The oil from the field is transported by pipeline to Mongstad. Produced natural gas is piped to Kårstø, and from there to the continent.

“The entire Johan Sverdrup field is now on stream,” said Geir Tungesvik, Equinor's executive vice president for projects, drilling, and procurement. “This is a red-letter day for us and our partners, Aker BP, Petoro, and TotalEnergies, but also for Norway and Europe. Johan Sverdrup accounts for large and important energy deliveries, and in the current market situation, most of the volumes will go to Europe."

More than 90% of deliveries to Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 have a Norwegian billing address, and many of the suppliers were also involved in the first part of the development. The full-field development of Johan Sverdrup has a break-even price of less than $15/bbl. Phase 2 was delivered as planned, on time and cost, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Johan Sverdrup receives power from shore through cables from Haugsneset north of Stavanger. The first cable currently supplies the first four platforms on the field with electricity. The new cable supplies the fifth platform and the rest of the Utsira High installations.

“In combination, this reduces CO2 emissions by a total of 1.2 million tonnes per year, equivalent to 2.5% of Norway’s annual emissions,” said Marianne M. Bjelland, vice president, exploration, and production, the Johan Sverdrup and Martin Linge areas. “Electrification is an important measure to further developing the Norwegian Continental Shelf toward the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Equinor operates Johan Sverdrup with a 42.6% working interest. Partners include Aker BP (31.6%), Petoro (17.4%), and TotalEnergies (8.4%).

Separately, Equinor, in collaboration with OKEA, will continue its modernization work on the Njord field by electrifying the Njord A platform. The operator has, on behalf of the Njord license partners, submitted a revised Plan for Development and Operation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Industry.

“Njord A and the Njord Bravo floating storage and offloading vessel returned to the field this autumn after extensive upgrading and will soon be ready for 20 more years of production and value creation,” said Trond Bokn, Equinor’s senior vice president for project development. “We are now continuing the modernization of Njord by converting to electric operation. This will cut emissions from production and reduce Norwegian CO2 emissions by more than 130,000 tonnes per year from 2027.”


Plans have been submitted to Norwegian authorities to electrify the Njord A platform. SOURCE: Equinor

Electrification of Njord will also benefit the Hyme, Bauge, and Fenja tieback fields. Volumes from these fields will help finance the project.

As operator of Draugen, OKEA will be responsible for developing the power infrastructure from shore to Draugen. Equinor will be responsible for the cable from Draugen to Njord as well as modifications and upgrading on Njord A, where the two existing gas turbines for main power production will be replaced by electric power from shore via Draugen. Based on this, around 60% of the power needed by Njord A will be covered by electricity, and the Njord Bravo FSO will be fully electrified.

In total, the electrification of Draugen and Njord will cut 330,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, according to Equinor.

The fields will have a total power demand of up to 80 MW per year and will be connected to the power grid at a transformer station at Straum in Åfjord municipality. Operated by Tension, the transformer station has a capacity of 200 MW, and the project does not require a grid upgrade.

The investment estimate for the whole project is around $740 million, of which just over $300 million covers the share of the Njord license.

Startup is expected in the first quarter of 2027.