Bauge template picked up by Ocean Installer at Randaberg Industries; Credit: Ørjan Richardsen/Equinor

Norwegian Sea tie-back to recently upgraded platform comes online

Norway’s state-owned energy giant Equinor has started production from a field, which has been tied back to a recently upgraded platform in the Norwegian Sea.

Bauge template picked up by Ocean Installer at Randaberg Industries; Credit: Ørjan Richardsen/Equinor

Equinor revealed on Monday, 17 April 2023, that production from the Bauge subsea field in the Norwegian Sea kicked off on 8 April, as the field was tied back to the Njord A platform. Recoverable reserves in Bauge are estimated at 50 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly oil.

While the Njord field originally came on stream in 1997, the installations were brought ashore in 2016 for extensive upgrading and in December 2022 the field came online again. The field will now produce for another 20 years, and the ambition is to produce about the same volume from Njord and Hyme as the fields have produced so far – some 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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Grete B. Haaland, senior vice president for Exploration & Production North, commented: “The Njord upgrading enables us to tie in new, valuable discoveries such as Bauge. By utilising existing infrastructure, we can realise profitable development of small-size discoveries in line with the company’s strategy. We are planning further exploration activity in the area.”

According to Equinor, Bauge consists of two oil producers in a subsea template, pipelines, and an umbilical connecting the wells to the Njord A platform. The Bauge licensees are Equinor (operator with 42.5 per cent interest), Wintershall Dea (27.5 per cent), Vår Energi (17.5 per cent), and Neptune Energy (12.5 per cent).

Trond Bokn, Equinor’s senior vice president for project development, remarked: “The subsea facility was built and installed without a single HSE incident. I am very proud of this, and I would like to thank our suppliers, particularly the main suppliers Randaberg Industries, Ocean Installer and OneSubsea. This shows that the zero-harm vision is possible. Capital expenditures totalling NOK 4.6 billion (2023) the project was delivered within budget.”

Furthermore, the Norwegian content of the Bauge project is well over 90 per cent and the company highlights that the wells were delivered faster than planned by Transocean and Schlumberger. This project has been run in parallel with the extensive upgrading of Njord A (Aker Solutions) and the Njord Bravo FSO (Aibel).

Bauge was discovered in 2013, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in June 2017. The water depth at the site is 282 metres. The oil from Bauge is transported by pipeline from Njord A to the Njord Bravo FSO, and onwards by tankers to the market. On the other hand, the gas is transported in a 40-kilometre pipeline from Njord A to the Åsgard Transport System, and on to the Kårstø terminal.

In a separate statement, Neptune Energy confirmed the start of production from the Bauge field while explaining that the Njord Area, which includes the fields Bauge and Hyme, would provide net production of 20 kboepd for the company. Neptune Energy has a 22.5 per cent interest in the Njord unit and the firm underscores that the platform is currently preparing to receive production from the Neptune-operated Fenja field later this month.

Odin Estensen, Neptune Energy’s Managing Director for Norway and the UK, stated: “We congratulate Equinor for their safe and successful start-up of the Bauge field. Tied back to existing infrastructure, Bauge is an example of how a small discovery can become a profitable development.

“This makes Njord our second largest producing hub in Norway and is aligned with our strategy to foster production with low unit cost and low CO2 intensity.”