Equinor begins production from North Sea oil field ahead of schedule

October 20, 2023

(WO) – Equinor announced that production from the Breidablikk oil field in the North Sea started on Oct. 20, four months ahead of schedule and within budget. Tied back to the Grane platform, the subsea field holds almost 200 MMbbl of recoverable oil. The partners are Equinor (operator), Petoro, Vår Energi and ConocoPhillips.

The Breidablikk field in the North Sea and the Grane platform. (Source: Equinor)

"The project is highly profitable, provides important volumes to the market, and will create great value for Norwegian society and the owners. Nearly five million working hours have gone into the project," says Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s Executive Vice President for Projects, Drilling & Procurement.

When the plan for development and operation (PDO) was submitted in September 2020, production from Breidablikk was scheduled to start in the first half of 2024, with predrilling and completion of five wells. Now, eight wells have already been drilled, and the drilling of additional wells will continue on the field until the end of 2025.

Breidablikk is being developed with 22 subsea wells drilled from four templates. Pipelines and cables have been installed between the subsea facility and the Grane platform, which has been modified to receive the well stream.

The project has had major ripple effects in Norway. More than 90% of the contract value has gone to suppliers with a Norwegian billing address. The main suppliers are Odfjell Drilling in Bergen, Aker Solutions, with large deliveries from Egersund, Wood Group in Sandefjord, and TechnipFMC, from their spoolbase in Orkanger.

Investments in the project are expected to be just over NOK 21 billion (2023 value).

"Breidablikk can help to extend the productive life and the approximately 1000 jobs associated with the operation of the Grane field towards 2060. By utilizing existing infrastructure both offshore and onshore, this is a cost-effective development. At peak, Breidablikk is expected to send up to 55-60,000 MMboe to the market daily, mainly to Europe," says Kjetil Hove, Equinor's Executive Vice President for Exploration and Production Norway.

The oil from Breidablikk is processed on Grane and sent ashore by pipeline to the Sture terminal in Øygarden. Oil will account for about 15% of exports from Sture in the years to come. The new field will be operated together with the Grane field by the Equinor organization at Sandsli in Bergen.

Lead photo: The Grane platform receives the well stream from Breidablikk. (Source: Elisabeth Sahl - Jonny Engelsvoll / Equinor)


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