Equinor’s Njord field officially reopens, expected to double production

World Oil Staff May 15, 2023

(WO) – According to Equinor, the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea will be officially opened by the minister of petroleum and energy, Terje Aasland. The platform and the floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO) have undergone extensive upgrades and are now ready for doubling the field life – and more than doubling production.

production platform in Equinor's Njord field
Photographer: Even Fløgstad/ Courtesy of Equinor

“With the war in Ukraine, the export of Norwegian oil and gas to Europe has never been more important than now. Reopening Njord contributes to Norway remaining a stable supplier of gas to Europe for many years to come,” says Terje Aasland, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The Njord field started production in 1997 and was originally supposed to produce until 2013. However, systematic work with increased recovery means that there are still large volumes of oil and gas left. New discoveries in the area can also be produced and exported via Njord.

In 2016, the platform and FSO were disconnected from the field and towed to shore for extensive upgrades. On December 27, 2022, production resumed from the Njord field.

“This is the first time a platform and an FSO have been disconnected from the field, upgraded and towed back offshore. We have now doubled the field life,” says Grete B. Haaland, Equinor’s Senior Vice President for Exploration and Production North, and continues, “It has been a big and demanding job, partly carried out during a pandemic, and I would like to thank everyone involved in preparing Njord for continuing its supply of oil and gas to the market. With the prices we anticipate in the coming years this comprehensive upgrading project will be repaid in in just under two years after startup.”

It is not just the field life that has been doubled. The ambition is also to double production and produce approximately the same volume from Njord as has been produced so far, around 250 MMboe.

Ten new wells will be drilled on Njord from an upgraded drilling facility. Discoveries have previously been made in the Njord area and more exploration will be carried out close to the field.

In addition, two new subsea fields have already been tied back to Njord. On April 8, the Equinor-operated Bauge field started its production, while the Fenja subsea field, operated by Njord partner Neptune Energy, came on stream on April 27. Recoverable volumes from the two fields combined are 110 MMboe.

Plans call for future partial electrification of the Njord field based on power from shore via the Norwegian Sea Draugen platform, thereby reducing annual CO2 emissions by around 130,000 tonnes.

The Njord licensees are Wintershall Dea Norge AS (50%), Equinor Energy AS (27.5%, operator) and Neptune Energy Norge AS (22.5%).

The Njord Future project has a Norwegian content of more than 90%. Aker Solutions has had the main responsibility for the platform engineering and upgrading. Brevik Engineering has conducted the engineering work for the FSO, which has been upgraded by Aibel. Global Maritime and Ocean Installer have been responsible for marine operations.

Production start on the Njord field was delayed by two years. The project became more demanding than expected, and the COVID-19 pandemic hit the project hard. It also led to higher costs. Investment costs are just above NOK 31 billion ($2.91 billion) in 2022 compared to the original NOK 17 billion ($1.06 billion) estimated in the plan for development and operation.

Njord is located in the Norwegian Sea, 30 kilometers west of Draugen, and 130 kilometers northwest of Kristiansund. The water depth is 330 meters.

Discovered in 1986, Njord came on stream in 1997. The Hyme subsea field was tied back to Njord in 2013.

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