New milestone at giant North Sea oil field, as it reaches record-high production level
Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has performed a capacity test at the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea off Norway, confirming that the field can produce at an increased plateau up to 755,000 barrels of oil per day.
According to Equinor, the Johan Sverdrup field reached a record-high production level of 755,000 barrels of oil per day during a capacity test, which equals six to seven per cent of the daily European oil consumption.
Marianne Bjelland, vice president of Exploration and Production for Johan Sverdrup in Equinor, commented: “This process capacity test at Johan Sverdrup confirms technically very robust facilities and was safely performed with no unwanted incidents. This is an important milestone, and the result of systematic and targeted efforts.”
Furthermore, Equinor and its partners – Aker BP, Petoro, and TotalEnergies – aim to maintain production levels of oil from the field up towards this level going forward. In addition, Johan Sverdrup produces 31,500 barrels of oil equivalents of gas per day.
The Johan Sverdrup Phase 1 came on stream in October 2019, while Phase 2 started producing in December 2022. The field, which covers an acreage of 200 square kilometres, was originally expected to produce 660,000 barrels of oil per day at plateau, about a fourth of Norwegian oil production at the current level.
Based on Equinor’s statement, the field is calculated to generate more than 3,400 jobs each year, and the production from the field has already contributed significantly to the state through taxes and direct ownership, estimated in total at about 900 billion Norwegian kroner over the field’s lifespan.
With estimated resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, the Johan Sverdrup field, located on Utsira High in the central part of the North Sea, 160 kilometres west of Stavanger, at a water depth of 110-120 metres, is the third-largest oil field on the Norwegian continental shelf. The field, discovered in 2010, has an estimated 50-year lifespan.
Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP, remarked: “We are very pleased with the successful completion of the capacity test, which will enable an increase in Johan Sverdrup’s plateau production up towards 755,000 barrels per day, and which once again demonstrates the quality of this world-class asset. This great achievement has been made possible through systematic and targeted work by the operator Equinor.”
Equinor claims that the field produces some of the lowest CO2 emissions levels of any oil field in the world, at 80-90 per cent lower than the global average.