Field/project development

TechnipFMC and Subsea7 Scoop Work at Pair of Equinor Fields

Equinor advances Irpa and Verdande field development projects closer to first oil with a raft of contract awards.

This development map shows the Verdande and Irpa (formerly Asterix) field locations.
Source: Equinor

Norway’s Equinor moved forward on its Irpa and Verdande field development projects in the Norwegian Sea with the awarding of multiple contracts.

UK contractor TechnipFMC won a pair of significant contracts for the subsea production systems for the fields. The contractor classifies a significant contract as one valued between $75 million and $250 million.

The work was awarded under its framework agreement with Equinor and covers the complete subsea production system, including subsea trees and structures, control systems, connections, tooling, and installation support, TechnipFMC said.

Subsea7 on 10 February was awarded by Equinor a pair of contracts related to the subsea tie-in work for the two fields. The work, valued between $50 million and $150 million, will be carried out by the Subsea7 and DeepOcean consortium.

Norway’s Only Planned Deepwater Development
The Irpa field development project is in the Aasta Hansteen area at 1350 m water depth, about 340 km west of Bodø in northern Norway. The discovery, formerly known as Asterix, was proven in 2009 and will be developed with three wells and an 80-km pipeline to the Aasta Hansteen platform.

Equinor said that, as the only planned deepwater development in Norway, the technical solution used at Irpa will contribute to new competence development in the industry. The expected recoverable gas resources are estimated at about 20 billion standard m3, equivalent to 124 million BOE.

Equinor said the gas will be phased into existing infrastructure over Aasta Hansteen and transported to the Nyhamna gas processing plant via Polarled. From there, gas will be transported via the Langeled pipeline system to customers in the UK and continental Europe. Irpa will extend the life of Aasta Hansteen by 7 years, from 2032 to 2039.

Subsea7’s contract scope includes engineering, transportation, and installation of an MEG pipeline, a production riser, umbilical, subsea structures, and tie-ins.

Equinor operates Irpa with a 51% working interest. Partners in the project include Petoro (20%), Wintershall DEA (19%), and Shell (10%).

As Fate Would Have It
Comprising the Cape Vulture and Alve North-East discoveries, Verdandeis on the Nordland Ridge area in the Norwegian Sea at water depths of 350–380 m, around 300 km southwest of the city of Bodø.

“Verdande will provide important local and regional ripple effects. It will also help meet the energy demanded by European customers,” said Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president for projects, drilling, and procurement.

According to Equinor, the discoveries were proven in 2017 and 2020 and contain a total of 36.3 million recoverable BOE. The project involves a subsea tieback to the existing Skuld field and Norne floating storage, production, and offloading facilities.

Drilling at Verdande is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2024, and the field is expected to be put on stream in the fourth quarter of 2025.

The field name Verdande comes from Norse mythology and is one of the three Norns—the Fates—who spin the threads of fate for humans and gods at the foot of Yggdrasil.

“Verdande will provide good utilization of excess capacity on the Norne vessel, and its resources contribute to an economic extended lifespan beyond 2026,” said Grete Birgitte Haaland, senior vice president for exploration and production north in Equinor.

Subsea7’s contract scope includes engineering, transportation, and installation of a 7.5-km pipe-in-pipe production pipeline, umbilical, flexibles, subsea structures, and tie-ins.

Equinor operates Verdande with a 59.3% working interest. Partners in the project are Petoro (22.4%), Vår Energi (10.5%), Aker BP (7%), and PGNIG Upstream Norway (0.8%).