Onshore/Offshore Facilities

Johan Sverdrup Hits Output Target as It Becomes Darling of European Crude Markets

Production from the offshore project now represents the equivalent of 7% of European oil consumption.

The Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea.
Source: Espen Rønnevik/Øyvind Gravås/Equinor.

Equinor announced on 23 May that its massive Johan Sverdrup field has officially reached its plateau production target of 755,000 B/D. The development comes as oil from the North Sea field is increasingly sought after by European refiners to replace Russian supplies of Ural crude.

The Norwegian oil and gas operator said the “important milestone” marks a company production record and was reached this week during a capacity test conducted without incident. The offshore field and its facilities also produce and process 31,500 BOE/D of gas and other hydrocarbon liquids.

The victory lap for Equinor was delayed by power outages that occurred at the start of the year on the field’s new Phase 2 platform.

Located about 90 miles offshore Stavanger, Johan Sverdrup is the largest producing oil field in the North Sea basin with an estimated 2.7 billion BOE in reserves. Equinor operates the field with a 42.6% stake and its partners include Aker BP (31.6%), Petoro (17.4%), and TotalEnergies (8.4%).

Going forward, Equinor and its partners will attempt to maintain the field at peak production rates which are equivalent to about 7% of Europe’s current oil demand.

Since the European Union banned seaborn Russian oil imports last year, Johan Sverdrup has filled much of the gap according to multiple analysts. Its crude and Russia’s benchmark Ural crude are both medium-sour grades with similar qualities which has made it relatively easy for European refiners to adapt to the switch.

Data reported by Reuters in April showed shipments to Asia have dropped dramatically in recent months as Johan Sverdrup has become the a primary source of crude for refiners in Germany, Poland, Finland, and other European nations.

 The majority state-owned Equinor added in its announcement that emissions from Johan Sverdrup are 80—90% lower than the world’s other oil fields.