- The Johan Sverdrup oil field is situated about 140 kilometres west of Stavanger and first production is expected in late 2019. Partners are Statoil (40.0267%), the operator, Lundin Norway (22.12%), Petoro (17.84%), Det norske oljeselskap (11.8933%) and Maersk Oil (8.12%).
- The full field has a forecast plateau production of 550,000 to 650,000 boepd, which will contribute about 25% of Norwegian oil production in 2025. Maersk Oil’s share is expected to be about 50,000 boepd.
- The first phase consists of four bridge-linked platforms and three subsea water injection templates, and has a production capacity of 315,000-380,000 boepd with total expected recoverable reserves of 1.4-2.3 billion barrels.
- Capital expenditure is estimated at NOK 170-220 billion (2015 value) for the full field development.
The Johan Sverdrup field lies in the area of the first ever exploration licence awarded in Norway, yet it evaded discovery until 2010.
It needed a wider view of the area, and it was only when explorers from Lundin Petroleum – one of Maersk Oil’s partners in the field – zoomed out to look at the bigger picture that the discovery and its extent became clear.
“It was a wild idea,” says Mark Seger, Maersk Oil’s project manager for Johan Sverdrup.
“They asked ‘why can’t this whole area contain oil?’ ”
The field is now one of three major Maersk Oil projects due to come on stream in the North Sea in the next five years, which can give its portfolio added resilience against oil price volatility.
While Johan Sverdrup provides low-cost barrels, Culzean adds gas production with a different price dynamic and Tyra Southeast shows the value to be gained by exploiting already existing assets.
Johan Sverdrup remained undiscovered for so long because it is situated almost 40 kilometres from the “kitchen” where the oil was formed, and from which it is separated by the solid granite of the Utsira High. The oil had either to take the long journey around the ridge, or found a shortcut through it – both routes are extraordinarily challenging journeys for oil to migrate.