Equinor to convert Oseberg into major gas producer
Norway's Equinor announced on November 26 it would invest 10bn kroner ($1.1bn) in converting the Oseberg oilfield in the North Sea into a major natural gas producer.
The decision comes at a time when European gas prices are at record highs as a result of an unprecedented supply crunch. Equinor has also boosted gas flow from the Oseberg and Troll fields to deliver more volumes to the continent.
Oseberg started production in 1988 but commercial gas flow did not begin until the early 2000s. Since then, oil output has steadily declined as the field has grown mature, while the share of gas in its overall supply has steadily grown.
Equinor said it had filed a development plan with Norway's petroleum ministry to establish Oseberg as a major gas producer, by adding two new compressors to boost recovery. The new facilities are due online in 2026.
While oil production is in the tail phase, Equinor estimates that 60% of Oseberg's gas resources are left to recover. It could produce more than 100bn m3 of gas before 2040, it said.
As part of the project, Equinor will also partially electrify Oseberg in order to reduce its emissions. It will supply the project with up to 105 MW of electricity, cutting emissions by an estimated 320,000 metric tons/year. Full electrification may take place in the future.
Oseberg produced a total of 1mn mt of CO2 in 2020, down 15% from the level a decade earlier. And Equinor's ambition is to lower it by a further 50-70% by 2030.
Equinor operates the field with a 49.3% interest, while Petoro has 33.6%, TotalEnergies 14.7% and ConocoPhillips 2.4%. The group has hired Aibel for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the electrification infrastructure, while awarding Nexans a framework contract for delivering subsea power cables, and Heerema Marine a contract for transport and installation. Skanska will construct a substation, cable trenches and landfall at Kollsnes.