The Johan Sverdrup development
- Situated 140 km offshore Norway in 120 metres of water, four jacket-based fixed platforms will house risers – pipes that connect the offshore structure to the sub-sea system – processing, wellhead and drilling facilities and living quarters, connected by bridge links.
- The recoverable resource range of 1.7 to 3.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent makes Johan Sverdrup one of the five largest fields ever discovered in Norway. For the full field, peak production will be up to 650,000 bpd.
- Maersk Oil holds 8.44% in the development. Statoil (operator) 40.0267%; Lundin Norway 22.6%; Petoro 17.36%; Det Norske Olieselskap 11.5733%.
108.3 billion NOK is being invested in the phase 1 development, with an expected capacity of 315,000-380,000 boepd.
- The plan envisages additional phases of development to recover the vast quantities of oil in Johan Sverdrup will occur over a period of 50 years.
The yellow tubes towering over Verdal are the first thing to strike the eye, even before the first houses of the small Norwegian town come into view.
This giant structure, which reaches 70 metres into the air even when just lying on its side, will be the jacket – i.e. the legs that form the base of one of the four platforms in the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development. On completion, it will be even bigger, with two further sections due to be attached on each side.
Maersk Oil is investing heavily in oil and gas projects in the North Sea region that will bring future production. Both Johan Sverdrup and Culzean in the UK sector were sanctioned in 2015 and together they are making Maersk Oil’s portfolio more robust and will help it become one of the top five producers in the North Sea by the middle of the next decade. The lower oil price has also given companies with large projects an opportunity to renegotiate contracts and potentially lower costs and break-even prices.
“The project is huge,” says Mark Seger, Maersk Oil’s Project Manager for Johan Sverdrup, as he surveys the struts that are still waiting to be fitted to the jacket, and work continues behind him. “It’s going to produce a lot every day and it’s going to do so for decades. The person who is going to shut this down may not even have been born yet. This is really looking far into the future.”
Smiles for the subsurface
Development is coming on apace, with first production expected in 2019. The drilling of the first production well has started as has construction of the jackets – including the one being built by Kværner, a Norwegian company, in Verdal – and the topsides which will sit on top to make up the four platforms.