Photo: The Sleipner field in the North Sea. (Photo: Øyvind Gravås and Bo B. Randulff / Equinor)

Equinor hands in plans for partial electrification of Sleipner field

Equinor and its partners have made an investment decision to partly electrify the Sleipner field, located offshore Norway, in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Today, the partners are submitting a revised plan for development and operation to the authorities, Equinor said in a statement.

“Today, we are pleased to submit development plans for Sleipner electrification that will provide both ripple effects and major new emission cuts on the Norwegian continental shelf. This investment will contribute to further develop the NCS toward the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050″, says Anders Opedal, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for Technology, Projects and Drilling.

“Yesterday’s gratifying news that broad political agreement has been reached on temporary adjustments in the petroleum tax will provide the industry with the predictability it needs to continue work on planned projects that will stimulate new investments and maintain activity in a challenging period”, says Opedal.

The solution for the Sleipner field centre will entail laying a new power cable from Sleipner to the Gina Krog platform, which will be tied into the area solution for power from shore on the Utsira High.

During periods when the power need is greater than the capacity in the area solution, Sleipner will use gas turbines, like it does today, to cover the power need.

Emissions reduced

According to Equinor, emissions savings from all the fields connected to the area solution on the Utsira High are estimated at around 1.15 million tonnes of CO₂ on average per year.

Sleipner’s share of this reduction is expected to be more than 150,000 tonnes of CO₂ annually. The Business Sector’s NOx Fund will contribute up to NOK 430 million to realise partial electrification of Sleipner field centre and the associated fields.

Arne Sigve Nylund, Executive Vice President for Development & Production Norway, said: “Sleipner is an important field which contributes enormous values to Norwegian society. The field has also been at the very forefront of technological development and innovation, in part through capturing, injecting and storing more than 20 million tonnes of CO₂ since 1996.

Therefore, it is extremely gratifying that the partners in the Sleipner licence have decided to further develop the field in line with our ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the NCS”.

In October 2019, the Johan Sverdrup licence, together with the partners in Gina Krog, Ivar Aasen, Edvard Grieg and Sleipner with its tie-in fields, reached agreement on allocation of shore-based power from the Utsira High.

Power from shore to the area solution is part of the second phase of the Johan Sverdrup development and will be designed with an additional capacity of 35 MW in order to meet more new power needs in the time ahead.

Aibel awarded Sleipner and Gina Krog jobs

Aibel was awarded a FEED contract (front-end engineering and design) in October 2019 to electrify Sleipner. This contract has now been expanded to an EPCIC contract (engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning).

Illustration: Power from shore to the Utsira High and the Sleipner field centre. Source: Equinor

The EPCIC contract is valued at around NOK 400 million ($43.2Mn) and will yield about 170 man-years distributed over two years at Aibel’s office in Stavanger and at the yard in Haugesund.

Equipment purchases from subcontractors are also expected to amount to around NOK 150 million ($16.2Mn). The contract is contingent on the authorities’ final approval of the amended plan for development and operation.

An investment decision has also been made for electrification of Gina Krog. This was a requirement from the authorities in connection with the approval of the field’s plan for development and operation. The EPCIC contract to complete the work of electrifying Gina Krog has also been awarded to Aibel. The value of the contract is around NOK 160 million, and it will result in approx. 60 man-years distributed over 1.5 years.

To enable electrification of the Sleipner field, a 28-kilometre high voltage cable must be laid between Gina Krog and Sleipner. Gina Krog will be connected to Johan Sverdrup by a 62-kilometre high voltage cable. The contract for production and laying of cables has been awarded to the cable supplier NKT. NKT has already performed the work of laying the cable from Johan Sverdrup to the Gina Krog field.

Sleipner power from shore investment will be around NOK 850 million ($91.7Mn) and Gina Krog NOK 640 million ($69.05Mn). The plan is to connect Sleipner and Gina Krog to the power from the shore area solution to the Utsira High by the end of 2022.

Partners in the Sleipner licence are Equinor, Vår Energi, LOTOS Exploration and Production Norge, KUFPEC Norway.

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