Photo: Halten East; Source Equinor

Equinor and partners investing over $937 mln to develop Norwegian Sea gas project

Norway’s Equinor and Halten East area partners have decided to invest about NOK 9 billion (about $937.7 million) in the development of the area neighbouring the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

According to Equinor’s statement on Wednesday, the area consists of six gas and condensate discoveries and option on another three prospects.

About a year ago, Equinor and its partners – Vår Energi, Spirit Energy, and Petoro – selected a subsea concept for developing six discoveries in a joint unitisation project on Haltenbanken.

The partnership on Wednesday also submitted the plan for development and operation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president, Projects, Drilling & Procurement, said: “Gas is an important energy carrier for Europe. Halten East utilises the existing gas infrastructure on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and will add important volumes that will generate substantial value. The project is a good example of how Equinor works with partners and government authorities across production licences to find smart solutions for optimal resource exploitation from the NCS.”

Halten East is a collective name for several small-size discoveries and prospects. Finding economically viable development alternatives for each individual project was difficult. Therefore, in 2020, the licensees in the four licences agreed to develop the area as a unit.

Recoverable reserves in Halten East are estimated at almost 16 million Sm3 of oil equivalent, or around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent, 60 per cent of which is gas piped via Kårstø to Europe.

The project is planned to be executed in two phases. In the first phase of the development, six wells will be drilled in the period 2024-2025, whereas phase two is planned to be developed in 2029. The production start from the two first wells is scheduled for 2025. Subsequently, the wells will be put on stream as they are completed.

Equinor also said that contracts at a combined value of almost NOK 7 billion (around $729 million) will be awarded. These are subject to government approval of the plan for development and operation.

If the plan gets approved, TechnipFMC will be awarded a contract for the manufacture and installation of pipelines and subsea structures with a value between NOK 1.3-1.5 billion.

Furthermore, Aker Solutions will be awarded a subsea production system contract with a value between NOK 1.3-1.5 billion. Aker Solutions has also inked a letter of intent for an umbilical with a value of NOK 300-400 million.

Also on Wednesday, Equinor revealed it had made an oil discovery close to its operated Johan Castberg project located in the Barents Sea. Together with its partners, Vår Energi and Petoro, Equinor will consider tying the discovery to the Johan Castberg field.