Norway’s Equinor to focus on gas at Oseberg under amended development plan


Highlights

To turn field into ‘substantial’ gas producer

Two new compressors to be installed to boost gas

Field center, platform to be part electrified

Norway’s state-controlled Equinor is to turn the Oseberg field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf from primarily being an oil asset into a “substantial” gas producer under an amended development plan, it said Nov. 26.

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Under the plan, two new compressors will be installed to boost recoverable gas volumes and the Oseberg field center and Oseberg South platform will be partially electrified, Equinor said in a statement.

An amended plan for development and operation has been submitted to the minister of petroleum and energy Marte Mjos Persen, it said.

“It is important to Equinor and the Oseberg partners to produce oil and gas with the lowest possible emission level,” Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for project development, said.

“This investment decision allows us to increase production of Oseberg gas considerably in the future, while reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 320,000 mt/year,” Tungesvik said.

Rebuilding of the Oseberg field center will take four years, Equinor said, with plans calling for start-up of the new facility in 2026.

Oseberg is already a key gas producing asset on the NCS with a technical capacity of some 27 million cu m/d.

However, Oseberg is subject to government-approved production quotas, with Equinor and its partners allowed to produce 6 Bcm of gas from Oseberg in the current gas year that started Oct. 1.

Under the quota system, Equinor can over- or under-produce at Oseberg depending on output in previous years and plans for future production.

Equinor asked for the quota to be raised by 1 Bcm to 6 Bcm for this year to help meet European demand during a time of sky-high gas prices.

S&P Global Platts assessed the TTF day-ahead price at a record high of Eur116.10/MWh on Oct. 5, with price volatility continuing through October and into November.

The TTF day-ahead price was assessed at Eur91.90/MWh on Nov. 26, up by 558% year on year.

Gas resource

Equinor said around 60% of Oseberg’s gas resources are still in the ground, while oil production is in the “tail phase.”

“When it comes to gas, Oseberg is also one of the major fields with only Troll and Snohvit having more remaining gas resources on the NCS,” it said.

When the field came on stream, it was expected to produce around 1 billion barrels of oil, but now Equinor expects it to produce a total of around 3.2 billion barrels of oil.

“With this investment we open a new chapter of the story of Oseberg, which is about to become one of the main Norwegian gas producers,” Geir Sortveit, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration and production west, said.

“We expect Oseberg to produce more than 100 Bcm of gas towards 2040. In terms of energy, the annual gas export from Oseberg will equal a quarter of all Norwegian hydropower,” Sortveit said.

Originally developed as an oil field, with first commercial production in 1988, Oseberg crude production is long past its peak.

Oseberg blend, however, is a component in S&P Global Platts Dated Brent benchmark, with loadings recently in the region of 100,000 b/d.

Emissions reduction

Oseberg emissions last year totaled around 1 million mt of CO2, a reduction of some 15% since 2010.

“There is an ambition of further reducing emissions by 50-70% by 2030. The new compressors and electrification from shore are vital to reach this ambition,” Equinor said.

“If the world is to reach its net zero emission goal, we must remove emission sources, also on the NCS,” Sortveit said.

“Electrification is an effective climate action as it involves large and swift emission cuts. The solution adopted gives a cut in emissions of about 50% from the Oseberg field center and the Oseberg South platform,” Sortveit said.

Equinor is the Oseberg license operator with a 49.3% stake. Its partners are Petoro (33.6%), France’s TotalEnergies (14.7%), and the US’ ConocoPhillips (2.4%).



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