Equinor has started up an expansion of its Snorre field, which will add another 200million barrels of production to the North Sea development.
The enhanced oil recovery project had been scheduled for start up in Q1 of next year but the Norwegian firm brought it online on Saturday (Dec 12).
More than 1billion NOK (£86m) had been saved against original cost estimates for the Snorre expansion, Equinor said.
Snorre has been producing since 1992 and this latest project is expected to keep it going through 2040.
A total of 24 new wells will be drilled to recover the new volumes at an overall investment price of around £1.6billion.
Equinor said the move would increase the oil recovery factor at Snorre from 46% to 51%.
Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling, said: “This is a result of excellent teamwork, both internally with own employees and safety delegates, and with our suppliers and partners.
“In a very unusual year many have gone to great lengths, been constructive and solution-oriented to ensure that the project was delivered.
“I am proud that we have managed to achieve safe start-up of the Snorre Expansion Project ahead of schedule in such a challenging year as 2020.
“In addition, the project is set to be delivered more than NOK 1 billion below the cost estimate in the plan for development and operation.”
The Snorre field partnership consists of operator Equinor with 33.27%, along with Petoro AS (30%), Vår Energi (18.55%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norg (9.6 %) and Wintershall Dea Norge (8.57%).