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Huge Sverdrup Oil Field May Begin Shipments Earlier Than Planned

The giant Johan Sverdrup oil field in Norway’s North Sea could start shipping oil in October, a month before the currently expected field production start-up in November, Reuters reported on Friday, citing a spokesman for the field’s operator Equinor.

“We’ve issued an early loading schedule that includes Sverdrup cargoes for October,” Equinor spokesman Morten Eek told Reuters.

“Nothing would please us more than to see production before November, although a November start-up remains our primary expectation,” Eek noted.  

Equinor expects to start production from the Johan Sverdrup—the North Sea giant as it calls it—in November 2019. With expected resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Johan Sverdrup is one of the largest discoveries on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) ever made and one of the largest industrial projects in Norway in the next fifty years, according to Equinor.

Daily production during the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development is estimated at 440,000 barrels of oil per day, while peak production is expected to reach 660,000 bpd. At peak production, Johan Sverdrup will account for 25 percent of Norway’s total petroleum production. The first phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup field development is nearing completion, and the second phase is already underway, Equinor said.

Production start for phase two of the project is expected in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Johan Sverdrup will boost oil shipments from the North Sea, and it will also help Norway’s oil production to rise between 2020 and the middle of the 2020s.

Despite cost controls, increased efficiency, and higher activity offshore Norway, oil production at Western Europe’s largest oil producer fell in 2018 compared to 2017 and is further expected to drop this year to its lowest level since 1988.

Johan Sverdrup will boost Norwegian oil production through the mid-2020s, but the country would need more and larger oil discoveries soon in order to stave off another drop after the mid-2020s.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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