Construction has begun on the first structure for the biggest and most expensive industrial project in Norway for decades to come – the development of the giant Johan Sverdrup offshore oil field.
Statoil announced Monday that the first piece steel for the riser platform jacket was cut at the Kvaerner Verdal yard in Norway on June 29, marking the official start of production of the first elements of Johan Sverdrup project.
“This is a special day. We’ve been working thoroughly for a long time making the preparations for this exciting and complex project. It feels great now that we’ve started construction on one of the biggest industrial projects in Europe,” says senior vice president for the Johan Sverdrup development project, Kjetel Digre.
Located in the North Sea approximately 96 miles west of Stavanger, Norway, Johan Sverdrup is one of the biggest oil discoveries ever on the Norwegian continental shelf, with expected resources of between 1.7 and 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The first-phase of the project will involve the establishment of a field hub consisting of four platforms and is estimated to cost approximately NOK 117 billion (US $14.8 billion). A second phase of development is expected to start in 2022.
The steel jacket for the riser platform will be transported and installed on the Johan Sverdrup field in 2017. Due to its enormous size, the 26,500 ton jacket will be shipped out to the field on the biggest heavy lift barge in the world, the Heeremas H-851.
“We’ve got an ambitious plan to bring Johan Sverdrup on stream in late 2019 and in accordance with this plan, we’ve now started to produce first building bricks for the project,” says Digre.
Production start-up at the field is scheduled for the end of 2019. Daily production is estimated to be 315,000 – 380,000 barrels per day in the first phase. Statoil says that total production revenues from the field could reach NOK 1,350 billion over 50 years.
The Johan Sverdrup partnership consists of Statoil, Lundin Norway, Petoro, Det norske oljeselskap and Maersk Oil. The partnership has recommended that Statoil be operator for all the field’s phases.