Norwegian authorities give go-ahead for Equinor’s North Sea electrification project

Norwegian authorities give go-ahead for Equinor’s North Sea electrification project

Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Industry has approved a plan for the development and operation of the Equinor-operated Troll field in the North Sea, which will enable the operator to turn its Troll West electrification plans into reality.

Troll C platform; Source: Equinor

Equinor filed its plan for the Troll West electrification project to Norwegian authorities back in April 2021. The plan includes partial electrification of Troll B and full electrification of the Troll C semi-submersible platforms.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy approved the changed plan for the development and operation of the Troll field on Friday, explaining that the operation of the Troll B and C platforms would be changed to full and partial use of power from land, respectively. Troll A is already powered by land.

This project includes an 85-kilometre-long cable from Kollsnes to Troll B, and a 20-kilometre-long cable from Troll B to Troll C. In addition, the approved project includes major and complex modifications to the Troll B and C platforms, while a building will also be built on land at Kollsnes west of Bergen with electrical equipment and landfall for the cable. 

According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the building and excavation work on the land will be established together with the licensees in the Oseberg field. Earlier this year, the ministry granted a license to connect the platforms to the power grid at Kollsnes. 

Troll West electrification project in the North Sea; Source: Siemens Energy

Based on these plans, the new energy solution on Troll B will start in the first quarter of 2024 and the electrification of Troll C is also planned for the first quarter of 2024, while completion is expected in the second quarter of 2026.

According to Equinor’s calculations, the project will reduce CO2 emissions from Troll by an average of 450,000 tonnes per year. As a result, NOX emissions will be reduced by approximately 1,750 tonnes per year.

The Troll field lies in the northern part of the North Sea, around 65 kilometres west of Kollsnes, near Bergen. The licensees of Troll are Equinor Energy (operator; 30.6 per cent), Petoro (56 per cent), Shell (8.1. per cent), TotalEnergies EP Norge (3.7 per cent) and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (1.6 per cent).

To remind, following a letter of intent from February 2021, Aker Solutions was awarded an EPCI contract in April. These modifications would enable the Troll B and C topsides to receive power from shore. A few months later, Aker Solutions awarded a contract to Siemens to supply complete packages for the electrical transmission, distribution, and power management system (PMS) for the project.

It is also worth reminding that Equinor and its partners also submitted a plan for the development and operation of another field to the minister of petroleum and energy, Marte Mjøs Persen, in late November. 

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This plan is for the Oseberg field in the northern part of the North Sea and based on Equinor’s statement from 26 November 2021, the Oseberg area partners would reduce CO2 emissions from the field while increasing gas production.