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The Njord field is upgraded ahead of another 20 years in operation

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Oilfield Technology,

Production from the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea has resumed, following an upgrading project in which both the platform and the floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO) were brought ashore.

The field is now back on stream, ensuring secure and stable energy supplies to Europe. Both the platform and the FSO have undergone extensive upgrades, and the 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 carried out the engineering work for the FSO, which has been upgraded by Aibel.

Geir Tungesvik, Equinor's executive vice president for Projects, Drilling & Procurement, said: “I am proud that we and our partners, Wintershall Dea and Neptune Energy, have now got this truly unique project across the finish line. This is the first time a platform and a FSO have been disconnected from the field, upgraded, and towed back, and we have now doubled the field’s life. It has been a big and challenging job, partly performed during a pandemic, and I want to thank everyone who has contributed. The Njord field will now deliver important volumes to the market for another two decades.”

Coming on stream in 1997, the Njord installations were initially designed to remain in operation until 2013. However, there were large volumes left in the ground, in addition to discoveries nearby, such as Hyme which came into operation in 2013, and others that can be produced and exported via Njord.

The platform and FSO were brought ashore in 2016 after 19 years of production. In 2017 and 2018, upgrading contracts were awarded for the two installations. The Njord A platform was upgraded at Stord, where it was constructed in the 1990s. The Njord Bravo FSO was inspected prior to upgrade and prepared for tow-out in Kristiansund, whereas the refurbishment was carried out in Haugesund.

Kjetil Hove, Equinor's executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway, said: “Our ambition is to produce about the same volume from Njord and Hyme as we have produced so far, more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.”

10 new wells will be drilled at Njord from an upgraded drilling facility, new discoveries have been made at the outer edges of Njord, and more exploration will be carried out in the surrounding area. In addition, the platform and FSO have been prepared to receive production from two new subsea fields, Bauge and Fenja, with a total of 110 million bbl of recoverable resources.

Hove continues: “This is illustrative of our strategic work on the NCS to extend the fields’ productive life and tying back new discoveries to existing infrastructure, while reducing the climate footprint from the production.”

According to plans the Njord field will in a few years receive power from shore via the Draugen platform in the Norwegian Sea and be partially electrified. This will reduce the annual CO2 emissions by about 130 000 t.

Production from the Njord field was initially supposed to resume two years ago. However, the upgrading project has been more challenging than expected, and the project was hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. This has also put an upward pressure on costs. Capital expenditures total just over NOK 31 billion (2022), compared with the original NOK 17 billion in the plan for development and operation. However, the project is profitable with oil prices far lower than today.

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