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We’re celebrating the opening of Norway’s third largest oil field. But what about the climate?

We’re delighted to announce the opening of the Johan Sverdrup field. It’s a technological triumph and a milestone for the Norwegian oil industry, supplying the world with energy, and creating value for society. 


At the same time, some people are saying we should stop producing oil altogether, for the sake of the climate. But we believe Johan Sverdrup is a prime example of exactly why we shouldn’t do that. 

World energy demand is rising, as people around the world increase their standard of living. And even though renewables are increasing rapidly, they can’t keep up yet — while oil production from existing fields is falling.

That’s why the Paris Agreement is quite clear that there will still be a need for oil in the world energy mix. And that that oil must be produced with as few emissions as possible. 

This is where Johan Sverdrup comes in. Its CO2 emissions from production are up to 90 % lower than the world average — showing just how important technological innovation can be to finding solutions to the climate challenge, and how the Norwegian oil industry has an important role to play. 

0 Daily production in Phase 2, after 2022
0 up to 30% of total oil production from the Norwegian Continental Shelf at peak
0 Emissions compared to a standard development employing gas turbines

It’s 2019 and climate strikes are taking place the world over.
So why are we so proud of our new oil field?

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor

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 4 %. 

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:



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.

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Johan Sverdrup: a pioneer in digitalisation

The Johan Sverdrup field is also a pioneer in the use of technology and digitalisation. Equinor operates a "digital twin" of the field, which enables us to have an continuous overview of what is happening on Johan Sverdrup, helping to increase safety, maximise returns and reduce emissions.

By leveraging large quantities of data, application developers can increase efficiency and reduce downtime, enabling our employees to do their jobs more safely and sustainably.

Find out more about digitalisation in Equinor in the stories below.

Johan Sverdrup news archive

To see all Johan Sverdrup-related news stories, click "More" below.