First oil from Johan Sverdrup to Mongstad

October 21, 2019 14:00 CEST | Last modified October 21, 2019 14:53 CEST
Aprrentice Sander Kjeseth Rath and Kjell-Børge Freiberg, Norwegian oil and energy minister
Apprentice Sander Kjeseth Rath (left) and Kjell-Børge Freiberg, minister of Petroleum and Energy, with a sample of oil from the Johan Sverdrup field. (Photo: Jannike Steindal Nordanger)

Oil from the giant Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea has arrived at the Mongstad plant north of Bergen. The event is being celebrated at the plant today.

“This is a great day for Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership, consisting of Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total. First oil to Mongstad only a few days after production start confirms that the field is producing well. This day also marks the start of a new phase as we prepare to bring Johan Sverdrup oil to the international market,” says Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream & Processing (MMP) in Equinor.

Oil is piped from the North Sea Johan Sverdrup field, a distance of 283 kilometres. At the Mongstad complex the oil is stored in caverns and prepared for shipping to markets all over the world.

The first cargo is expected to leave for customers in Asia this week, and contains one million barrels with a market value of around USD 60 million, or more than half a billion NOK at the current oil price. Future cargoes are expected to contain between 600,000 and 2 million barrels. 

Ceremony with oil sample from Johan Sverdrup
Apprentice Sander Kjeseth Rath (left), Rasmus F. Wille, vice president of the Mongstad plant, Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream & Processing in Equinor, and Kjell-Børge Freiberg, minister of Petroleum and Energy, with a sample of oil from the Johan Sverdrup field. (Photo: Jannike Steindal Nordanger)

“Oil from Johan Sverdrup is expected to provide revenue of more than NOK 1400 billion for the next 50 years, of which more than NOK 900 billion will go to the Norwegian state and society. Mongstad will play an important role in realising this value. At the same time, Johan Sverdrup triggers high activity at the plant and new opportunities for the future,” says Rummelhoff.

As Johan Sverdrup receives power from shore, oil will be produced with record-low climate gas emissions of less than one kilogram of CO2 per barrel.

The Mongstad plant is expected to receive up to 440,000 barrels of oil per day from Johan Sverdrup when the first development phase reaches peak production. When the second phase is completed in 2022, Mongstad will receive up to 660,000 barrels of oil per day.

When Johan Sverdrup is operating at full capacity, Mongstad will receive more than 30 percent of the total oil from the Norwegian continental shelf. Johan Sverdrup will lead to higher activity and new opportunities for Mongstad, which is an important plant for the company, and will help strengthen the importance of Equinor’s onshore activities in Norway.

Many people at Mongstad have been involved in preparing the reception of oil from Johan Sverdrup, including Equinor employees and many suppliers.

“This is a big day for everyone who has worked for a long time on preparing Mongstad for oil from Johan Sverdrup. It has been a major effort involving plant modifications and completion of pipes. The work has been carried out properly and efficiently. As head of Mongstad I am proud of the great effort leading up to this day,” says Rasmus F. Wille, vice president for the Mongstad complex.

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Facts about oil and gas from Johan Sverdrup:

  • Marketing of the Johan Sverdrup oil began in September, indicating first shipment in October. Equinor markets and sells the oil from Johan Sverdrup in the global market from its oil trading units in Stavanger, London, Singapore and the US.

  • Equinor’s traders are already experiencing high demand for the Johan Sverdrup oil. It is highly suitable as raw material for many refineries and will be available in large volumes in a long-term perspective.

  • The first cargo of Johan Sverdrup oil has been sold by Equinor, on behalf of the Johan Sverdrup licence, to China International United Petroleum & Chemicals Co., Ltd. (UNIPEC). UNIPEC is part of the SINOPEC Group, the world’s largest conglomerate in refining, petrochemistry and gas.

  • The first cargo will be shipped on the "Orpheas" tanker via the Suez Canal to China.

  • Johan Sverdrup also produces associated gas, which is exported via Statpipe to Kårstø. Plateau production in the first development phase is expected to be below 3 million cubic metres per day, and around 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year. After the second development phase is completed, plateau production is expected to increase to below 4 million cubic metres per day, amounting to almost 1.5 bcm per year. Total export of pipe gas from the Norwegian continental shelf in 2018 was 114.2 bcm.