Snøhvit Future, Hammerfest LNG and Melkøya
Snøhvit is a gas and condensate field northwest of Hammerfest in Northern Norway, that supplies gas to the Melkøya LNG plant in Hammerfest. The Snøhvit partners are now planning to invest NOK 13.2 billion in upgrading the LNG plant with onshore compression and electrification.
Snøhvit Future: onshore compression and electrification
The Snøhvit Future project consists of two developments: Snøhvit Onshore Compression and Snøhvit Electrification. The project will cut emissions and extend the life of the Snøhvit field.
Hammerfest: On December 20th, 2022, Equinor submitted a plan for development and operation (PDO) of Snøhvit Future on behalf of the Snøhvit partnership to the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.
The Snøhvit partners will invest NOK 13.2 billion (2022) in upgrading the Hammerfest LNG plant, HLNG, at Melkøya. The proposed development includes an onshore compressor, transformer station and electric steam boilers on Melkøya, as well as a grid connection including a transformer station at Hyggevatn, as well as the development of new power capacity from Skaidi to Hammerfest.
Onshore gas compression will provide enough flow from the reservoir to extend plateau production and maintain high gas exports from HLNG beyond 2030. Electrification will reduce CO2 emissions from HLNG by around 850,000 tonnes per year.
Snøhvit Future will strengthen Norway’s position as a reliable and long-term supplier of LNG to Europe. Electrification will allow us to deliver this gas with close to zero greenhouse gas emissions from production. The project will secure long-term operations and gas exports from Melkøya towards 2050.
Major emissions reductions
This is one of the largest individual emission reduction measures for decarbonization of oil and gas production in Norway. The project is a key contributor to the energy transition.
Electrification entails replacing the current gas turbine generators with power from shore. This will cut emissions equivalent to 13 per cent of the oil and gas industry’s overall 55 per cent emissions reduction by 2030. The project’s emissions reductions correspond to two per cent of Norway’s annual emissions.
Snøhvit Future in facts and figures
- The licence owners of Snøhvit are: Equinor Energy ASA (36.79%), Petoro AS (30.00%), TotalEnergies EP Norge AS (18.40%), Neptune Energy Norge AS (12.00%) and Wintershall Dea Norge AS (2.81%).
- Snøhvit Future Project consists of two developments: Snøhvit Onshore Compression and Snøhvit Electrification.
- The development covers: 1) the onshore compressor, transformer station and electric steam boilers on Melkøya, 2) the grid connection including a transforming station at Hyggevatn, and 3) the development of new power capacity from Skaidi to Hammerfest.
- Onshore compression will help maintain sufficient inlet pressure for the LNG plant as the reservoir pressure drops. It will also reduce the risk of accumulation of fluid liquids in the long multiphase pipeline from field to shore. This will give a longer operational window and extend plateau production.
- Electrification of the Melkøya plant will minimise emissions from LNG production, leading to an annual emission reduction of close to 850,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions from 5,000 fossil-fuelled (ICE) cars.
- It will reduce the carbon footprint from LNG production at Melkøya from 3.8 to 0.6 g CO2e/MJ.
- Emissions reductions from HLNG meet the requirements stated in the authorities’ approval of the plan for development and operation of Snøhvit from 2002.
- Onshore compression and conversion to electrical operation of HLNG are scheduled to start in 2028.
About the development solution
- The development project will involve major construction on the island of Melkøya and on the mainland.
- Three modules will be constructed: a module for a feed gas compressor, a module for electrical steam boilers and a transformer station.
- High voltage cables will connect Melkøya to Hyggevatn substation. A tunnel will be constructed beneath the seabed to lead a power cable from Melkøya to Meland.
- The grid capacity to Hammerfest will increase thanks to the new grid reinforcement planned by Statnett between Hyggevatn and Skaidi.
- For 15 years, one of the world’s most energy-efficient LNG plants has delivered liquefied natural gas to customers all over the world. 350 permanent employees ensure stable and safe operations, and Bodø Science Park has proven that the actual ripple effects in North Norway are around 2,000 full-time equivalents.
- The project will secure important jobs for decades to come, representing a continuation of this major industrial adventure, both in the project phase and the operations phase.
Snøhvit is a gas and condensate field northwest of Hammerfest in Northern Norway. It was the first development in the southern Barents Sea and was the first major development on the Norwegian continental shelf with no surface installations.
The well stream is transported in a 143-kilometre pipeline for processing to liquid natural gas (LNG) at the Melkøya onshore facility near Hammerfest. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is separated and returned to the field by pipeline for injection into the aquifer (CCS), while LNG, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and condensates are shipped to market.
A total of 16 wells have been drilled on the Snøhvit field, 14 producers and two wells for reinjecting carbon dioxide (CO2). The plant on Melkøya captures CO2 from the well stream, before returning it to the field far below the seabed. 700,000 tonnes of CO2 are captured and stored each year, equivalent to the emissions from 400,000 cars.
Snøhvit production has now reached the plateau phase. After the field came onstream, several production wells have been drilled in various structures. After the successful completion of the Cold Return project (bringing the LNG plant back online), production resumed in June 2022.
Gas from the Snøhvit and Albatross reservoirs came on stream in 2007, while Askeladd came on stream in December 2022.
Location: Blocks 7120 og 7121 in the Barents Sea
Production date: 21 August 2007