Equinor’s Norne FPSO gets lifetime extension from Norwegian regulator
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted consent to Equinor for continuation of production on Norne FPSO with associated facilities for the Norne, Urd, and Skuld fields in the Norwegian Sea.
Equinor is the operator of the Norne field, which is located in production license 128 in the Norwegian Sea, around 300 kilometers west of Sandnessjøen and 200 kilometers from the Helgeland coast.
The consent applies from and including 2022 to March 2026, the directorate said on Monday.
In its application for extension, operator Equinor has described an improved drainage strategy for the Norne field and the nearby Urd and Skuld fields.
The Norne, Urd, Skuld, Alve and Marulk fields are tied in to the Norne ship. The authorities approved an amended Plan for Development and Operation (PDO), which includes several nearby deposits around Norne and Urd in 2008.
Analyses from the operator show that the resource base in the Norne area may contain enough to produce until the end of 2035.
The original recoverable Norne reserves were about 72 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable oil (approx. 453 million barrels). Optimization and measures to improve recovery have increased the recoverable oil reserves to about 93 million Sm3 (about 585 million barrels). 96 per cent of the proven oil reserves have been produced.
There are also five unclarified discoveries within the production license, as well as six unclarified discoveries in nearby production licenses.
The NPD expects that continued work on these will ensure satisfactory recovery of the remaining oil and gas resources.
The Norne field is developed with seven well templates connected to a production and storage vessel (FPSO). The oil is produced with water injection as drive mechanism. Gas injection stopped in 2005, and all gas is exported.
The oil is exported with tankers. Since 2001, the gas has been exported in a dedicated pipeline to the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea, and onward via the Åsgard transport system to the Kårstø terminal in Rogaland.
It is worth reminding that Equinor last December received a safety consent from the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority to extend the operation of the Norne FPSO and associated facilities until the end of 2036.