Photo: Troll field; Photo: Equinor/Øyvind Gravås and Even Kleppe.

Seal of approval to Equinor for next phase of Troll project

Norway’s Equinor and licensees in Troll Nord have secured regulatory consent to start-up facilities and modifications associated with the Troll phase 3 project in the North Sea off Norway with the start-up scheduled for autumn.

The PDO for Troll phase 3 was approved in December 2018. The project is a further development of the Troll field and will produce the gas from Troll Vest. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) announced the approval for this stage of the project on Friday 2 July 2021.

The development solution chosen by the operator Equinor and its partners comprises two subsea templates with eight gas wells tied into the Troll A platform. The wellstream from these wells is routed to Troll A through a new 36-inch pipeline, for further compression and export via existing infrastructure.

Recoverable reserves from Troll phase 3, mainly gas, are estimated at about 2.2 billion barrels (350 million standard cubic metres) of oil equivalent.

Illustration of Troll phase 3 - Equinor
Illustration of Troll phase 3; Credit: Equinor

“Troll is a giant on the Norwegian shelf. The field supplies as much as 7 per cent of Europe’s daily demand for gas, and Troll phase 3 will help maintain a high level of production for a long time to come”, said Wenche Tjelta Johansen, Leader of Licence management.

The licensees have invested just over NOK 8 billion in Troll phase 3 and the plan is for it to produce for at least 30 years.

According to the NPD, the Troll phase 3 was originally scheduled to come on stream this spring, but start-up was postponed until the autumn due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Troll was proven in 1979 and the original plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1986. The plan was updated in 1990 in order to move the gas processing to the Kollsnes terminal. The field came on stream in 1995.

Equinor developed Troll in phases

The Equinor-operated Troll field was developed in phases, with gas extraction from Troll Øst in phase 1 and oil from Troll Vest in phase 2. Troll phase 1 was developed with Troll A, which is a fixed foundation wellhead and compression installation with a concrete substructure. Troll A receives power from shore. Gas compression capacity was expanded on Troll A in 2004/2005 and again in 2015.

Equinor developed the Troll phase 2 with Troll B, which is a floating living quarters and production platform in concrete, and Troll C, which is a semi-submersible living quarters and production platform in steel.

The oil in Troll Vest is produced from multiple subsea templates tied into Troll B and Troll C via pipelines. Production from the Troll C installation started in 1999. Troll C is also used for production from Fram, Fram H-Nord and Byrding. Several amended development plans (PDOs) were approved in connection with installing multiple subsea templates on Troll Vest.