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Government go-ahead for Irpa, Verdande and Andvare

Verdande field illustration
Verdande field illustration

The plans for development and operation of the subsea fields Irpa and Verdande, and the production well Andvare in the Norwegian Sea have been approved by Norwegian authorities. The gas field Irpa will be tied back to Aasta Hansteen, whereas the oil field Verdande and the Andvare well will be tied back to Norne.

"We are experiencing a strong demand for oil and gas from the Norwegian continental shelf in the current geopolitical situation. By utilising the Aasta Hansteen and Norne infrastructures, these development projects will quickly bring new production to market with low development costs, while extending the activity on the host platforms," says Trond Bokn, Equinor's senior vice president for project development.

Trond Bokn - portrait
Trond Bokn, Equinor's senior vice president for project development.
(Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen / Equinor)

The Irpa gas volumes may supply just over 2.3 million UK households with gas for seven years. The gas discovery is located almost 80 kilometres from the Aasta Hansteen field, and the development will extend the field’s productive life by seven years, up to 2039. The discovery also supports the 350 person-years of employment (direct and indirect) associated with the operation of Aasta Hansteen during this period.

Irpa, the second subsea field tied back to Aasta Hansteen, will be the deepest field on the Norwegian continental shelf, at 1350 metres.

It was recently announced that Westcon Helgeland will deliver large parts of the Irpa subsea facility as a TechnipFMC subcontractor. Momek in Mo i Rana is a subcontractor of Aibel, responsible for modifying the platform for Irpa gas tie-in.

Irpa field illustration
Irpa field illustration

Verdande, an oil discovery with some associated gas, will be tied back to Norne. Here, too, the field’s productive life will be extended by several years, which helps support the 900 person-years of employment (direct and indirect) associated with the operation of the Norne field.

Equinor, on behalf of the partners, recently awarded a contract to Aibel where most of the work will be performed by Aibel's M&M community in Harstad, which will also use other subcontractors in the north. Aibel will also make modifications to the FPSO related to Andvare, a well that will be drilled as a side-track from one of the existing subsea templates on the Norne field.

“For Equinor and our partners, it is important that our activity in the north also has ripple effects here, and the projects will also result in increased and prolonged activity at the logistics base in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund," says Bokn.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy today celebrated the approval of a number of new projects on the Norwegian continental shelf. In addition to being the operator of Irpa, Verdande and Andvare, Equinor is also a partner in Yggdrasil, Berling, Skarv Satellitter and Symra.

Facts Irpa

  • Licensees: Equinor Energy AS (operator) 51%, Wintershall Dea (19%), Petoro (20%), A/S Norske Shell (10%)
  • Irpa, formerly Asterix, is located in about 1350 metres of water in the Norwegian Sea, 340 kilometres west of Bodø.Irpa was discovered in 2009.
  • Recoverable resources are estimated at 20 billion standard cubic metres of gas and 0.4 standard cubic metres of condensates (a total of approx. 124 million barrels of oil equivalent).
  • Capital expenditures: NOK 14.8 billion
  • Planned start-up: Fourth quarter of 2026
  • The gas will be phased into existing Aasta Hansteen infrastructure and transported through Polarled to the Nyhamna processing plant. From there, the gas will be transported through the Langeled pipeline system to customers in the UK and on the Continent.

Facts Verdande

  • Licensees: Equinor Energy AS (operator) 59.3%, Petoro AS 22.4%, Vår Energi ASA 10.5%,a Aker BP ASA 7.0%, PGNIG Upstream Norway AS 0.8%
  • Consisting of the Cape Vulture and Alve Northeast discoveries Verdande is located in the Norwegian Sea in 350-380 metres of water, around 300 kilometres southwest of Bodø. The discoveries were proven in 2017 and 2020, respectively.
  • Recoverable resources: 36 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly oil.
  • Capital expenditures at the time of submitting the PDO, NOK 4.7 billion (2022)
  • Planned start-up in the fourth quarter of 2025
  • Alve, Marulk, Skuld and Urd have already been tied in to the Norne FPSO, which came on stream in 1997.

Facts Andvare

  • Licensees: Equinor Energy AS (53%), DNO Norge AS (32%) og PGNiG Upstream Norway AS (15%)
  • Recoverable resources: Just under two billion cubic metres of gas.
  • Planned start-up in 2024
  • Capital expenditures: NOK 500 million.