Equinor to connect two extra offshore fields to power from shore solution

Two Equinor-operated fields located offshore Norway, the Sleipner field centre and the Gudrun field, will receive power from shore to further reduce CO₂ emissions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. 

The Sleipner field in the North Sea. (Photo: Harald Pettersen / Equinor)

The Utsira High Area power grid, which will become operational in 2022, will provide power from shore to the Johan Sverdrup, Edvard Grieg, Ivar Aasen, Gina Krog, and Sleipner fields.

The licenses that now will receive power from shore from the Utsira High area solution are operated by Equinor, Lundin Norway, and Aker BP.

Equinor said on Monday that the area’s license partners have recently agreed on maximizing the utilization of power from shore to the area by enabling partial electrification of the Sleipner field centre as well. The overall area solution will contribute to an average reduction in CO₂ emissions close to 1.2 million tonnes of CO₂ per year.

Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, projects & drilling in Equinor, said: “The Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) is leading in producing oil and gas with low greenhouse gas emissions. By enabling partial electrification of Sleipner and tie-in fields, we are making maximum utilization of the area solution for power from shore to the Utsira High to further reduce emissions from the NCS.”

The original area solution for power from shore to the Utsira High comprises the Johan Sverdrup, Edvard Grieg, Gina Krog, and Ivar Aasen fields.

The power from shore solution included in the second phase of the Johan Sverdrup development will provide additional capacity of 35 MW in order to meet increased power demand from existing or additional fields in the future.

Power from shore for Sleipner & Gudrun 

According to Equinor, based on the result of recent negotiations by the license partners, the Sleipner field centre, together with the Gudrun platform and other tie-ins, will receive power from shore to meet parts of their power demand. This solution will also ensure that the Lundin Norway-operated Edvard Grieg platform will be able to fully meet its power demand through power from shore.

Equinor noted that emission reductions based on the Utsira High area solution were estimated at more than 1 million tonnes of CO₂ on average per year. Further emission reductions by partial electrification of Sleipner are estimated at more than 150,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year.

“I am pleased that the Sleipner license partners support a solution enabling the Sleipner field centre and tie-ins to be connected to the power from shore solution. It was not an easy task to find a technical and commercial solution that meets the needs of all licenses in this area, so I would like to thank all involved companies and Norwegian authorities who have helped ensure a maximum and holistic utilization of the power from shore capacity in the area,” said Opedal.

The Sleipner field centre solution calls for Sleipner to lay a power cable to the Gina Krog platform, which will be connected to the Utsira High area solution by a separate power cable by the end of 2022. In certain periods the field’s power from shore demand may exceed the capacity of the area solution. In such periods Sleipner will use gas turbines to cover its shortage.

The industry’s NOx Fund provides up to NOK 430 million to realize the partial electrification of Sleipner and tie-ins.

The Sleipner license partners are planning to make a final investment decision during the second quarter of 2020.

“Due to the transition we are facing on the NCS, we must reduce the carbon footprint from our operations to protect and develop the value from the Norwegian shelf,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development & production Norway in Equinor.

Plan to fully electrify Edvard Grieg 

Lundin Norway is the operator of the Edvard Grieg platform with a 65 percent working interest and the partners are OMV Norge and Wintershall DEA with 20 and 15 percent working interests, respectively.

The Edvard Grieg power from shore project involves the retirement of the existing gas turbine power generation system on the platform, installation of electric boilers to provide process heat and installation of a power cable from Johan Sverdrup to Edvard Grieg. When the facilities are all operational, Lundin Norway’s net capital investment in power from shore facilities at Edvard Grieg and Johan Sverdrup will total approximately $500 million, half of which has already been spent.

Alex Schneiter, President and CEO of Lundin Petroleum, said: “Full power from shore for Edvard Grieg, as part of the Utsira High power grid, will not only significantly reduce the carbon emissions from the area to below 1kg of CO2 per barrel but will also allow us to drive further value from the asset base through higher production efficiency, reduced operating costs and less carbon tax.

“The CO2 saved from Edvard Grieg alone, will amount to approximately 200,000 tonnes per year from 2022, in addition to the emission savings as a result of power from shore to Johan Sverdrup. The Edvard Grieg project will further solidify Lundin Petroleum’s position as a world leading low carbon emissions oil producer, with its two key assets fully or becoming fully electrified, using power from shore mainly sourced from renewable energy.”