Statfjord C platform; Credit: Harald Pettersen/Equinor

Equinor takes steps to deliver oil & gas from North Sea platform with fewer carbon emissions

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor and its partners have decided to change their power solution at an offshore platform in the North Sea off Norway to cut emissions. This will be accomplished by replacing two gas turbines with heat recovery to produce electric power, reducing annual CO2 emissions by 95,000 tonnes.

Statfjord C platform; Credit: Harald Pettersen/Equinor

According to Equinor, a new steam turbine at the Statfjord C platform will produce electricity based on surplus heat from two gas compressors, making the energy consumption more efficient and cutting 25 per cent of total annual CO2 emissions at the platform, which is equivalent to 50,000 cars.

Camilla Salthe, Equinor’s senior vice president for Field Life eXtension (FLX), commented: “This is the first time this solution is used on an operated field at the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). I am proud of employees and suppliers that have worked in an innovative way to streamline the energy being used at the platform. This is an important contribution to extend the field’s life to 2040.”

The new steam turbine, which is expected to enable cost-effective emission cuts, is scheduled for start-up in 2026. The project, named FLX Future Energy, encompasses the electrification of water injection and emission cuts related to other energy-intensive processes on Statfjord C.

The technical solution of the FLX Future Energy project, called low weight bottoming cycle (LWBC), does not require a power supply from shore. By introducing it on Statfjord C, Equinor says that two of the existing gas turbines can be shut down, enabling the platform to deliver oil and gas with a quarter of the current carbon footprint.

Ketil Rongved, Equinor’s vice president for FLX projects, remarked: “Heat recovery for electric power production has been used on new fields, both on the NCS and internationally. Now, for the first time, the solution is introduced on a mature field in production. This is possible due to the development of low-weight solutions.”

Furthermore, the Norwegian energy giant points out that this project is one of many measures to cut emissions from the production at Statfjord. In line with these measures, a heat recovery unit on Statfjord B has cut CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes every year since 2021.

The Statfjord field is located in the Tampen area in the northern part of the North Sea on the border between the Norwegian and British sectors. The Norwegian share of the field is 85.47 per cent and the water depth at the site is 150 metres.

Discovered in 1974, the Statfjord field has been developed with three production platforms: Statfjord AStatfjord B, and Statfjord C. This last platform came into production in 1985. Statfjord Nord, Statfjord Øst and Sygna are three satellite fields tied back to the Statfjord C platform.

Recently, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) gave the licensees in the Statfjord Øst field consent to use new facilities linked to the gas lift project on the field, which is due to come online shortly.

The licence partners in the Statfjord unit are Equinor (operator, 40.17 per cent), OKEA (23.93 per cent), Vår Energi (21.37 per cent), Equinor UK Ltd (14.53 per cent).