Johan Sverdrup continues to increase production

Our Johan Sverdrup field came on stream in October 2019, and is expected to increase daily production to 535,000 barrels of oil by mid-2021—with CO2 emissions only 4% of the world average. 

Innovative digital solutions are contributing to high safety standards and significantly boosting income. Here, process operator Helene Stølsmark Vihovde is using the Digital Field Worker app.

Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 will capture the full potential of the huge Johan Sverdrup oil field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The NOK 41 billion project is now in execution and on average we have spent more than 1 million man hours every month.

The Johan Sverdrup field is a technological triumph and a milestone for the Norwegian oil industry, supplying the world with energy, and creating value for society. It’s now in Phase 1 of production, at unprecented low cost and high quality.

0 Barrels per day, estimated daily production in Phase 2, after 2022
0 up to 30% of total oil production from the Norwegian Continental Shelf at plateau
0 Emissions compared to a standard development employing gas turbines

Johan Sverdrup in Brief

  • Third largest: Johan Sverdrup is the third largest oil field on the Norwegian continental shelf, with expected resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
  • Low emissions: One barrel of oil produced at Sverdrup has emitted 0.17 kilogrammes of CO2 in the first year – almost 100 times lower CO2 emissions than the global average (measured in kilogrammes of CO2 per barrel produced). This is mainly due to power from shore. 
  • Profitable production: In its first year on stream, Johan Sverdrup produced oil worth some NOK 50 billion, i.e. some 130 million barrels of oil (based on an average price of 40 USD/boe.)
  • High recovery factor: The ambition for the field is to achieve a recovery factor of more than 70 percent. 
  • Partners: Equinor: 42.6% (operator), Lundin Norway: 20%, Petoro: 17.36%, Aker BP: 11.5733% and Total: 8.44%.

What do our latest oil wells have in common with self-driving cars? 

Photo and film: Arne Reidar Mortensen, Equinor

Meet Maximilian Georg Schuberth. He has a background from geophysics and signal processing, but now he's working on maximising production from Johan Sverdrup using some of the most advanced technology in Equinor: self-operating wells. These wells optimise production, reduce the energy needed to lift hydrocarbons to the surface, and increase safety. Max likens them to self-driving cars due to their sensor systems, high-performance computer processing and machine learning algorithms. Hear Max explain the technology in the video. 

Anders Tøkje (29) demonstrates a digital twin

digital technologies boosted earnings by over two billion nok in the first year:

  • Stable higher production thanks to automated production optimisation  
  • Improved accuracy in the reservoir by means of broader and more complex data sets, providing us with more information about the reservoir. 
  • More efficient operations and maintenance by means of the solutions for the digital field worker where the operators use tablets in their daily work and the digital twin, which is a virtual copy of the platform.  

Johan Sverdrup: a showcase of digital technologies

Our Johan Sverdrup field is a pioneer in the use of new digital technologies that help us increase safety, reduce costs, maximise returns and reduce emissions. 

For example, there's Echo, our "digital twin" that lets workers explore every detail of the platforms in virtual reality using Microsoft 3D Hololens technology. Then there's our Digital Field Worker app that lets offshore workers activate work permits, check equipment, and read system manuals all without going back to their desks. And a host of other exciting solutions that increase efficiency and reduce downtime, enabling our employees to do their jobs more safely and sustainably. Welcome to the digital energy company of the future. 

Find out more about our digital revolution in the stories below.

It’s Norway’s third largest oil field—ever. But what about the climate?

Some people are saying we should stop producing oil altogether, for the sake of the climate. But we believe that Johan Sverdrup demonstrates that quite the opposite is true. Here’s why.

Less than 4%

Emissions per barrel produced, compared with world average 

18 kg CO2

World average emissions per barrel produced

0,67 kg CO2

Emissions per barrel produced at Johan Sverdrup

Less than four percent. That’s how little CO2 the Johan Sverdrup field emits compared with the world average for oil production. Thanks to largely hydroelectric power from shore, we will avoid emissions of more than 620,000 tonnes of CO2 every single year.

On average, around the world, there are 18 kg of CO2  emissions for every barrel of oil produced. On the Norwegian continental shelf, the average is much lower, but still around 9 kg. At the Johan Sverdrup field, emissions will be a record low of 0.67 kg — or 4 % of the world average — per barrel produced. 

World energy demand continues to rise, and we will still have a significant need for oil and gas in the foreseeable future. But not all barrels are created equal — and it’s important that the oil which is produced, is produced as cleanly as possible. That’s why Johan Sverdrup is a prime example of how technological innovation can provide solutions, and why Norwegian oil and gas are important in a climate perspective. 

Johan Sverdrup is now supplying countless countries with energy and raw materials. And benefitting society economically.

The world must fulfil the Paris Agreement — but we still need oil, to fill the gap left by rising energy demand and declining production. The Johan Sverdrup field will supply millions of people with the energy they need to live their lives, and in its estimated 50 year lifespan it will also generate significant financial income for Norway, thanks to the 78% marginal tax rate on the Norwegian oil industry. 

billion NOK

Total income in the field’s lifetime, depending on oil price

billion NOK

Income to the Norwegian state

million NOK

Profit per hour, depending on oil price

Oil has widespread uses, not just as a fuel — but also for medicines, plastics, textiles, technological products, as well as in the iron, steel and cement industries.

The oil and gas industry creates positive economic ripple effects, not only for the many tens of thousands of people directly employed by the oil industry, but for all Norwegians, in the form of significant tax revenues for the state.

With the help of technology developed over five decades on the Norwegian continental shelf, Johan Sverdrup will have low emissions to sea and air and a high recovery rate. Furthermore, we’re aiming for a high recovery rate of more than 70 percent, meaning that we can contribute to securing growth, jobs and industrial development for decades to come.

Johan Sverdrup creates economic ripple effects in Norway:

 Johan Sverdrup field, August 2019
Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor


in the development phase

of contracts

to Norwegian suppliers


in the operational phase

The development and operation of Johan Sverdrup will provide revenue and employment to new generations of Norwegians for five decades to come.

But we’re not doing the job alone.
We have a whole industry with us; our partners and suppliers’ experience, and the authorities’ ambitions for the Norwegian Continental Shelf — enabling us to create positive ripple effects for the entire country. 

The Johan Sverdrup development can generate more than 150,000 person-years of employment during the construction phase of 2015—2025. In the first phase of the development, 70% of the contracts were awarded to suppliers in Norway. And in the operational phase, Johan Sverdrup may contribute to employment of more than 3,400 people each year—as well as generating income for the Norwegian state exceeding NOK 900 billion over the lifetime of the field.