Highly profitable Troll phase 3 project on stream

August 30, 2021 09:00 CEST | Last modified August 30, 2021 09:36 CEST
Troll A with new Troll phase 3 module (Photo: Øyvind Gravås and Even Kleppa, Equinor)

On Friday 27 August at 21.25, production started from the Troll phase 3 project in the North Sea. The project has a break-even price below 10 dollars and CO2 emissions of less than 0.1 kg per barrel oil equivalent. The new wells are tied in to the Troll A platform and Troll phase 3 will extend the platform’s life past 2050.  

Recoverable volumes from Troll phase 3, which will produce the Troll West gas cap, are estimated at as much as 347 billion cubic metres of gas. Converted into oil equivalent this amounts to 2.2 billion barrels.  Investments are approximately NOK 8 billion.
“Troll phase 3 is one of the most profitable projects throughout Equinor’s entire history, while at the same time featuring production with record-low CO2 emissions. This is thanks to large gas reserves and a development solution mostly based on existing infrastructure, such as pipelines, the processing plant at Kollsnes and, not least, the Troll A platform which receives power from shore. The project has been executed without serious injuries, which is extremely important,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president of Projects, Drilling and Procurement.

Employees on the Troll A platform celebrating Phase 3 (Photo: Jan Arne Wold and Elisabeth Sahl/Equinor)

The Troll partners are Equinor, Petoro, Shell, TotalEnergies and ConocoPhillips.  

 Troll has generated substantial revenues for 25 years and will continue to do so for many years to come. Annual state revenues from the Troll phase 3 project alone are estimated at an average of more than NOK 17 billion (2021).

The Troll phase 3 project consists of eight wells in two templates, a new pipeline and umbilical connecting the templates to Troll A as well as a new gas processing module on the platform.

Around 70 percent of the deliveries to the Troll phase 3 project come from Norwegian suppliers.

The annual export volume from Troll is equivalent to approximately 8% of the EU’s gas consumption, and the further development of the Troll field also reinforces Norway’s ability to secure gas deliveries to Europe in the coming decades.   

 Over the course of 25 years, Troll A has contributed to transforming the energy consumption in Europe from coal to gas, with far lower greenhouse gas emissions. It was also the first platform on the Norwegian continental shelf to be electrified, as early as in 1996. 

“Troll phase 3 will extend the life of Troll A and the Kollsnes processing plant beyond 2050, and the plateau period by 5-7 years. This will help secure jobs offshore, at Sandsli and at Kollsnes for both Equinor and its suppliers for several decades into the future,“  says Kjetil Hove, Equinor’s executive vice president for Exploration and Production Norway.

Like several other projects, Troll phase 3 has also felt the effects of Covid-19. The original start-up date for the project was in the second quarter of 2021, but pandemic-related labour shortages and infection control measures have delayed start-up somewhat.  
“I want to thank our own employees, our partners and suppliers who have done a fantastic job during difficult times. We’ve made this happen together,” Nylund concludes.

Facts about Troll phase 3

  • The partners: Equinor Energy AS 30.58% (operator), Petoro AS 56%, AS Norske Shell 8.10%, TotalEnergies EP Norge AS 3.69%, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS 1.62%.
  • Troll is Norway’s largest gas producer, with large reserves still left in the ground. After more than 20 years of production, 65% of the gas has still not been recovered.
  • The annual export volume from Troll corresponds to an estimated 8% of the EU’s gas consumption.
  • Annual energy production from the Troll field corresponds to approximately 3 times annual Norwegian hydropower production.
  • The enormous resource base has necessitated planning development and production in three phases:
    •  Phase 1 is the gas in Troll East, which resulted in Troll A, the Kollsnes gas plant and associated infrastructure. The gas is exported to Europe via the Zeepipe pipelines. Kollsnes is also powered by electricity.
    • Phase 2 is the oil in Troll West, which resulted in the Troll B and C platforms and associated infrastructure. The oil is routed to the oil terminal at Mongstad.
    • Phase 3 involves producing the gas cap overlying the oil column in Troll West, while simultaneously continuing to produce the oil. The produced gas goes to Troll A and onward in existing infrastructure.  
  • A comprehensive development plan has been drawn up for the gas in the Troll field, which makes it likely that new wells will be drilled, and new infrastructure will be installed on the field.