Increased value creation, more resources and greater ripple effects from Johan Sverdrup

August 27, 2018 06:45 CEST | Last modified September 19, 2018 09:06 CEST
Johan Sverdrup phase 2 illustration
Johan Sverdrup phase 2. Illustration: Try/Equinor

Today, Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership of Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total, are submitting the development plan for the second phase of the project to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. 

With an increased resource estimate and lower investment costs, the full field development of Johan Sverdrup will contribute to even greater value creation. At the same time, the ripple effects from the project will be larger than previously estimated. Low CO2 emissions make Johan Sverdrup one of the world’s most carbon-efficient fields.

“The Johan Sverdrup field is the largest field development on the Norwegian shelf since the 1980s. At plateau, the field will produce up to 660,000 barrels per day, with a break-even price of less than USD 20 per barrel and very low CO2 emissions of 0,67 kg per barrel. Johan Sverdrup is on track to deliver vast volumes of energy with high profitability and low emissions for many decades to come,” says Eldar Sætre, Equinor CEO.

“Today we are announcing an increased resource estimate and we are reducing the total estimated investment for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the development by an additional NOK 6 billion since February of this year. Since the PDO for the first phase in 2015, we have reduced the total estimated investment for Johan Sverdrup full field development by more than NOK 80 billion. The project will yield even greater value creation and larger spin-off effects than previously estimated,” says Sætre.

Full field development of Johan Sverdrup is projected to contribute more than NOK 900 billion in income to the Norwegian State over the lifetime of the field. An updated analysis from Agenda Kaupang estimates that the development of Johan Sverdrup Phase 1 and Phase 2 can contribute more than 150,000 man-years in Norway in the period from 2015-2025. In the operations phase, Johan Sverdrup may generate employment of more than 3400 man-years every year.

The Plan for development and operation (PDO) for Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 also includes measures to facilitate power from shore to the Utsira High by 2022, in accordance with the terms for PDO Phase 1. Emission savings from the Johan Sverdrup field are estimated at 460,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to annual emissions from 230,000 private cars.

Further improvement in the project

“We have completed nearly 80 per cent of the first phase of the development, and it is gratifying to see that the good momentum and quality of the construction phase seems to be continuing in the installation phase offshore. This means that we are on track to start production from the field in November next year,” says Margareth Øvrum, Executive vice president for Technology, projects & drilling in Equinor.

Image of Margareth Øvrum and Trond Bokn
Margareth Øvrum, Executive vice president for Technology, projects & drilling together with Trond Bokn, senior vice president for Johan Sverdrup, during a visit to the Johan Sverdrup field in August 2018. Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen

“The continued high quality of project execution is a result of close cooperation with our suppliers and partners. Together, we have managed to reduce the estimated investments for Phase 1 by an additional NOK two billion,” says Øvrum.

The updated investment estimate for Phase 1 is now NOK 86 billion (nominal NOK, project exchange rate), a reduction of 30 per cent, amounting to NOK 37 billion since submission of the Phase 1 PDO.

“We have worked systematically to make the second phase of the Johan Sverdrup development even more profitable and robust. We have taken the good solutions and experience gained from Phase 1 and have optimised the development concept for Phase 2 in cooperation with our partners and suppliers. In the Phase 2 PDO, we have reduced the investment estimate to NOK 41 billion (nominal NOK, project exchange rate), and the break-even price for Phase 2 is now less than USD 25 per barrel. Throughout the entire history of this industry, I don’t think we have ever seen a project that has been improved as much as Johan Sverdrup has over the last 3 years,” says Øvrum.

Production start-up for the Phase 2 development is planned for Q4 2022.

Digitalisation and technology increase the resource estimate for Johan Sverdrup

In connection with the development of Phase 2, Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership have established a full field digitalisation and technology plan to further reinforce safety and efficiency in operations, increase value and reduce carbon emissions from the field.

A number of improved recovery technologies are included in the plan:

  • Water alternating gas injection (WAG)
  • PRM (permanent reservoir monitoring) for the full field
  • Stepwise implementation of fibre optics in wells
  • Step-by-step development of digital twinning
  • Technologies for automatic drilling control on the drilling platform
  • High-speed telemetry drill pipe
  • Improvements in cement quality
  • Virtual rate monitoring on subsea wells

“Johan Sverdrup will be best in class on digitalisation and new technology. Digitalisation will reinforce the effect of several improved recovery technologies. Together, this has allowed us to increase the resource estimate for Johan Sverdrup, while simultaneously raising the ambitions for the field’s recovery rate to over 70 per cent. This will make Johan Sverdrup a world leader also in terms of the improved recovery,” says Øvrum.

In the Phase 2 PDO, the resource estimate for the entire Johan Sverdrup field is raised from 2.1-3.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent to 2.2-3.2 billion barrels, with an expected estimate of 2.7 billion barrels.

“The sheer size and the field life of more than 50 years make Johan Sverdrup an exciting place to develop the solutions of the future. We are now working to mature technology for automatic production optimisation, a number of new pipe and seabed technology solutions, and a gradual development of a digital twin of Johan Sverdrup that will give us the opportunity to model and visualise key parts of the field even before we start production for Phase 2 in 2022,” says Øvrum.

The media is invited to a press conference about Johan Sverdrup phase 2 at the ONS on Monday 27 August, 2018.

Participants: Eldar Sætre, CEO and Margareth Øvrum, Executive vice president for Technology, projects & drilling.
Time: 09.00 am
Place: ONS press centre, Hall 10
Media contact: Eskil Eriksen. eseri@equinor.com, +47 95882534

Submission of the PDO for Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, will take place at Equinor’s stand (Hall 8 stand 8000) at the ONS on Monday 27 August, 2018 at 10.00 am.

(The article continues below the photo)

Image of Johan Sverdrup field centre
Johan Sverdrup field centre phase 1 field centre during construction, August 2018. Photo: Kjetil Endresen

Facts about Johan Sverdrup

Phase 1

  • Includes the development of four platforms, three subsea installations for water injection, power from shore, export pipeline for oil (Mongstad) and gas (Kårstø)
  • CAPEX estimate: NOK 86 billion (nominal terms based on fixed currency)
  • Production start expected in November 2019

Phase 2

  • Includes development of another processing platform (P2), modifications of the riser platform and the field centre, five subsea templates, in addition to power from shore to the Utsira High in 2022
  • Investment estimate: NOK 41 (nominal terms based on fixed currency)
  • Break-even price: Below USD 25 per barrel
  • Production start expected in Q4 2022

Full field

  • Resource estimate: 2,2 – 3,2 billion barrels of oil equivalent
  • Break-even price: below USD 20 per barrel.
  • Estimated combined income from production from Johan Sverdrup amounts to 1430 billion NOK (2018) over the life of the field. Expected cash flow amounts to approximately 1130 billion NOK (2018). Income to the Norwegian state is expected to amount to more than 900 billion NOK, from taxes (more than 700 billion NOK) and from the Norwegian state’s ownership of Petoro.
  • PARTNERS: Equinor: 40,0267 % (operator), Lundin Norway: 22,6 %, Petoro: 17,36 %, Aker BP: 11,5733 % and Total: 8,44 %.