Production from Equinor’s (OSLO: EQNR) Njord field in the Norwegian Sea resumed yesterday following a major upgrade project.
During the work, both the platform and the floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO) were brought ashore for extensive updates that will extend the life of both assets.
It was completed using more than 90% Norwegian content.
Aker Solutions had the main responsibility for the platform engineering and upgrading, while Brevik Engineering carried out the work for the FSO.
Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s executive vice president for projects, drilling and procurement, said: “I am proud that we and our partners, Wintershall Dea and Neptune Energy, have now got this truly unique project across the finish line.
“This is the first time a platform and a FSO have been disconnected from the field, upgraded, and towed back, and we have now doubled the field’s life.It has been a big and challenging job, partly performed during a pandemic, and I want to thank everyone who has contributed.
“The Njord field will now deliver important volumes to the market for another two decades.”
Coming on stream in 1997, the Njord installations were initially designed to remain in operation until 2013.
However, there were large volumes left in the ground, in addition to discoveries nearby, such as Hyme, which came into operation in 2013, as well as other fields that can be produced and exported via Njord.
The platform and FSO were brought ashore in 2016 after 19 years of production, and in 2017 and 2018, upgrading contracts were awarded for the two installations.
The Njord A platform was upgraded at Stord, where it was constructed in the 90s.
Meanwhile the Njord Bravo FSO was inspected prior to upgrade and prepared for tow-out in Kristiansund, whereas the refurbishment was carried out in Haugesund.
Kjetil Hove, Equinor’s executive vice president for exploration and production Norway, said: “Our ambition is to produce about the same volume from Njord and Hyme as we have produced so far, more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.”
A total of 10 new wells will be drilled at Njord from an upgraded drilling facility to bring new discoveries on stream, while more exploration will be carried out in the surrounding area.
In addition, the platform and FSO have been prepared to receive production from two new subsea fields, Bauge and Fenja, with a total of 110 million barrels of recoverable resources.
“This is illustrative of our strategic work on the NCS to extend the fields’ productive life and tying back new discoveries to existing infrastructure, while reducing the climate footprint from the production,” said Hove.
According to plans, the Njord field will receive power from shore in a few years, via the Draugen platform in the Norwegian Sea – tThis will reduce the annual CO2 emissions by about 130,000 tonnes.
Production from the Njord field was initially supposed to resume two years ago but Covid hit the project hard., putting an upward pressure on costs.
Capital expenditures totaled just over NOK 31 billion (2022), compared with the original NOK 17 billion in the plan for development and operation.
However, the project is profitable with oil prices far lower than today, Equinor said.
Neptune Energy’s managing director for Norway and the UK, Odin Estensen, said: “We congratulate Equinor on the delivery of this complex project, in close collaboration with the licence partners.
“Njord coming onstream increases Neptune’s production in Norway by 10 kboepd. The platform is also preparing to receive production from three new subsea tie-back fields – Hyme and Bauge, and the Neptune-operated Fenja field early in 2023, extending the operating life of the Njord field.
“This represents a significant investment by Neptune on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and further demonstrates our commitment to growing the business in Norway.”
Neptune Energy Norge has a 22.5% owner share in Njord, Hyme and Bauge, and a 30% share in Fenja.