Fossil energy – Oseberg
Norwegian oil and gas giant Equinor and its partners have submitted a plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Oseberg field in the northern part of the North Sea.
Equinor also revealed plans for investing over $1.1 billion in this development.
The Oseberg Area Unit partners will reduce CO2 emissions from the Oseberg Field Centre and the Oseberg South platform while increasing Oseberg gas production.
Oseberg will be developed from primarily being an oil field to becoming a substantial gas producer with large remaining gas resources.
Two new compressors will be installed to boost recoverable gas volumes and the Oseberg Field Centre and Oseberg South platform will be partially electrified.
“It is important to Equinor and the Oseberg partners to produce oil and gas with the lowest possible emission level. This investment decision allows us to increase the production of Oseberg gas considerably in the future, while reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 320,000 tonnes per year. During the project planning, we have received good support from and cooperated closely with our partners. We are now entering the execution phase together with highly qualified suppliers,” says Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for project development.
Plans call for start-up of the new facility in 2026.
The work to be carried out on the platforms is extensive as three big modules totalling 3400 tonnes will be installed. Rebuilding of the Oseberg Field Centre will take four years and give work to 70 people. On Oseberg South, 40 people will be occupied for one year. This will be done while the plants are in full operation and will require close and good cooperation between all the different players.
Oseberg is the third largest oil producer ever on the NCS. When Oseberg came on stream, it was expected to produce around one billion barrels of oil. Today we expect the field to produce a total of around 3.2 billion barrels of oil. Oil production is in the tail phase, but 60 percent of the gas resources are still in the ground. When it comes to gas, Oseberg is also one of the major fields, only Troll and Snøhvit have more remaining gas resources on the NCS.
“With this investment, we open a new chapter of the story of Oseberg, which is about to become one of the main Norwegian gas producers. We expect Oseberg to produce more than 100 billion sm3 of gas towards 2040. In terms of energy, the annual gas export from Oseberg will equal a quarter of all Norwegian hydropower,” says Geir Sørtveit, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration and production west.
For the year 2020, Oseberg emissions totaled around one million tonnes of CO2. Since 2010, emissions at Oseberg have been reduced by around 15 percent, and there is an ambition of further reducing emissions by 50-70 per cent by 2030. The new compressors and electrification from shore is vital to reach this ambition.
“If the world is to reach its net zero emission goal, we must remove emission sources, also on the NCS. Electrification is an effective climate action as it involves large and swift emission cuts. The solution adopted gives a cut in emissions of about 50 per cent from the Oseberg Field Centre and the Oseberg South platform, representing an important move to continue the long-term value creation from the Oseberg area,” continues Sørtveit.
In March 2021, Equinor obtained a licence from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) to construct, own and operate necessary electrical facilities to provide the Oseberg Field Centre and the Oseberg South platform with power from shore. Oseberg will have a total power demand of up to 105 MW. The project will also prepare for any full electrification of the installations in the future.
It is estimated that more than 70 percent of investments in the Oseberg upgrades will go to suppliers in Norway. Heerema Marine Contractors from the Netherlands has already been awarded a contract for transport and installation at an estimated value of NOK 60 million. In the summer of 2024, the Sleipnir is scheduled for lifting in place the three big modules.