Kristin platform; Credit: Marit Hommedal/Equinor

Equinor brings online first of five oil & gas tie-backs to existing platform offshore Norway

Norway’s state-owned energy giant Equinor has started production from the first well in its planned five-well project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), being developed as a tie-back to an existing offshore platform in the Norwegian Sea.

Kristin platform; Credit: Marit Hommedal/Equinor

Equinor and its partners submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) of the Lavrans and Kristin Q discoveries as satellites to the Kristin field in 2021. The PDO for the first phase of the Kristin South project was approved in 2022. The production from the first Lavrans well in the Kristin South area began on July 7, 2024.

Trond Bokn, Equinor’s Senior Vice President for Project Development, commented: “The Kristin South project demonstrates our strategy to create value by developing existing infrastructure on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Together with our partners and suppliers, we have developed the project and started the production from Lavrans in a safe and good way.”

After a new subsea template was installed and tied into the Kristin platform, it is now processing oil and gas from the first well at the Lavrans field. While the gas will be exported through the pipeline system to the European market, the oil will be transferred to the market by ship via the Åsgard C storage vessel.

With four additional wells being on the agenda as part of the first phase of the Kristin South project, three will be at the Lavrans field and one in the Q-segment at the Kristin field. The latter will be drilled from an existing subsea template tied back to Kristin. As a result, the expected production in phase one of the Kristin South project is estimated at 6.2 GSm3 of gas and 1.9 MSm3 of oil – a total of 58.2 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Grete B. Haaland, Equinor’s Senior Vice President for Exploration & Production North, remarked: “This is a key milestone in our plan to continue to develop new resources in a mature area in the Norwegian Sea. Tying in additional resources to our producing hubs is a cost-efficient way to add production and extend the lifespan of our fields in operation. This approach contributes to energy security and job creation in Norway.”

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According to Equinor, Kristin South Phase 1’s extraction and production CO2 intensity is very low, less than 1 kg of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalent, thus, the emissions are expected to be mainly generated from drilling activities. With Norwegian suppliers getting over 60% of the contract values in the development phase, the project is estimated to have created 4,000 person-years across Norway, with 800 in the Mid-Norway region, over the 2020-2025 period.

Moreover, the list of the contractors that have been hired to work on this project includes Aker Solutions/OneSubsea and subcontractors for subsea production facilities; TechnipFMC and subcontractors for pipeline fabrication, pipelaying, and subsea installation; Aibel and subcontractors for engineering, procurement, construction, and installation for Kristin platform modification; and Transocean as rig provider with the Transocean Spitsbergen semi-submersible being designated for the job.

While Lavrans was discovered in 1995, the Kristin field was put on stream in 2005. The technical lifetime of the Kristin platform is currently estimated to be 2043 with potential for further extensions. The partners in the Haltenbanken Vest Unit, which is part of the Kristin South area, are Equinor Energy (54.82 %, operator), Petoro (22.52 %), Vår Energi (16.66 %), and TotalEnergies EP Norge (6 %).

Torger Rød, Vår Energi’s COO, stated: “We congratulate Equinor for their safe and successful production start-up from the first Lavrans well in the Kristin South project. This is a great example of how challenging discoveries can be developed to create profitable, low emission production in line with our target to deliver around 400 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day by end 2025.”

Equinor is working on several projects, including an all-electric one for which it picked SLB to deliver front-end engineering design (FEED) work at a field offshore Norway while Ocean Installer is handling engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) for the Troll Phase 3 – Stage 2 project.