Johan Sverdrup Field, North Sea, Norway

Johan Sverdrup field consists of two discoveries, Avaldsnes and Aldous, located off the coast of Stavanger in the Norwegian North Sea. The discoveries are located in 120m of water. It is one of the largest discoveries made in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Avaldsnes lies in Production Licence (PL) 501 while Aldous is part of PL265. The field was later extended into PL502.

Exploration activities revealed that the two discoveries constitute one giant connected field. The discoveries were hence jointly renamed as Johan Sverdrup in early-2012.

The PL501 is operated by Lundin Petroleum (40%) with Statoil (40%) and Maersk Oil (20%) as partners. Statoil (40%) is the operator of PL265, with Petoro (30%), Det Norske (20%) and Lundin Petroleum (10%) co-owning the license. The PL502 is operated by Statoil (44.44%) with Petoro (33.33%) and Det Norske Oljeselskap (22.22%) as partners.

Johan Sverdrup is expected to produce up to 380,000 barrels of oil each day during first phase and will produce up to 650,000 barrels of oil a day when fully commissioned. It is expected to account for more than half of Norway's oil production by 2040. First production from the field is expected in late-2019 and expected to last for nearly 50 years.

Details of the Avaldsnes and Aldous discoveries offshore of Stavanger

"It is one of the largest discoveries made in the Norwegian Continental Shelf."

Avaldsnes was discovered in 2010 by the 16/2-6 well. The Aldous discovery includes Aldous Major South and Aldous Major North.

Aldous Major South was discovered in August 2011 by the 16/2-8 well. It was drilled to a depth of 2,083m and encountered an oil column of 65m.

Aldous Major North is a minor field, discovered by the 16/2-9S well. The well was drilled to a depth of 2,047m in September 2011. Lundin drilled the well to confirm an extension of the Aldous Major South field in the north.

Geology of the Johan Sverdrup field reservoir in Norway's North Sea

The field reservoir is made of lower Cretaceous / Jurassic age high porosity and permeability sandstones. It is a four-way dip closure located at a depth of 1,900m with normal pressure and temperature.

Reserves and quality of oil in PL501 and PL265 of the Norwegian field

Johan Sverdrup in PL501 is estimated 0.8 to 1.8 billion barrels of gross recoverable oil. In PL265, the field is estimated to contain 0.9 to 1.5 billion barrels of gross recoverable oil. Total reserves of the field are estimated at 1.7 to 3.3 billion barrels of gross recoverable oil.

The oil present at the field is highly mobile with low viscosity. It has an API of 28° and has a low gas / oil ratio.

Exploration and drilling at Avaldsnes and Aldous by Lundin

Lundin drilled three appraisal wells at the Avaldsnes discovery, which include 16/3-4, 16/2-7 and 16/5-2S. Sidetracks for the first and second appraisal wells were also drilled.

"The PL501 is operated by Lundin Petroleum (40%) with Statoil (40%) and Maersk Oil (20%) as partners. Statoil (40%) is the operator of PL265."

The first appraisal well, 16/3-4, confirmed the extension of the Avaldsnes discovery to the south-east. It was drilled to a depth of 2,020m and encountered a 13.5m thick oil column. Sidetrack to the 16/3-4 well, 16/3-4A, was drilled to examine the reservoir's quality. It was drilled to a depth of 1,934m.

The 16/2-7 appraisal well drilled to a depth of 2,500m established the extension of the Avaldsnes field. The sidetrack well, 16/2-7A, encountered a reservoir column of 25m. It was drilled 400m north-east of the 16/2-7 appraisal well.

One appraisal well, 16/2-10, has been drilled on the Aldous Major South discovery which confirmed its northern extension. An oil column of 50m to 55m thickness was encountered in Jurassic age sandstones. The well was drilled by Transocean Leader, a semi-submersible rig.

In March 2012 Lundin completed the drilling of appraisal well 16/2-11, which encountered a 54m gross oil column. The well was drilled by the Bredford Dolphin semi-submersible drilling rig.

The well 16/5-3 was drilled in PL502, which confirmed a 13.5m oil column in a high-quality Jurassic reservoir. The first building block of Johan Sverdrup development was completed and installed on the field in August 2015.

Field development agreement between partners and Johan Sverdrup PDO

In March 2012, the field partners signed a pre-unit agreement, under which they will cooperate in the development of the field. Statoil was appointed as the operator of the field during this phase.

The partners work towards the preparation and submission of a plan for development and operation (PDO) for the field. The PDO for the Phase 1 was approved in August 2015.

Johan Sverdrup is expected to be a standalone development, including various infrastructure facilities. It will act as a new processing and transportation hub similar to several other giant fields located in the region.

Johan Sverdrup field development details

The Johan Sverdrup project is being developed in phases. The first phase involves the development of four bridge connected platforms, as well as three subsea installations. It will also include 35 injection and production wells, of which only 14 to 15 wells are expected to be drilled before the first oil is achieved.

The second phase development of the Johan Sverdrup is expected to start production in 2022.

The produced oil and gas from the field will be delivered to the shore through oil and gas pipelines. The oil pipeline will transport oil to the Mongstad Terminal, Norway. A gas pipeline will deliver gas to the Kårstø Terminal.


ABB won a $155m contract to provide systems and tools to two HVDC converter stations connecting the field with the onshore grid. It was also contracted to provide fabrication, installation and testing of two high-voltage cables providing electricity from shore to field.

A four-year framework agreement was awarded to Autronica and Security for supplying Autro Safe fire and gas detection systems to the field. Flux Group will supply manual and actuated butterfly valves for the field. External and internal fire doors for the field will be provided by Rapp Bomek.

IKM Ocean Design was awarded a gooseneck spool and retrofit hot-tap tee contract. It was also contracted to provide FEED for Johan Sverdrup infield pipelines and deliver detail engineering and services for subsea umbilicals, risers, and flowlines (SURF).

Samsung Heavy Industries received an approximately $836m contract to fabricate topsides for the processing and riser platforms, in June 2015.

Kvaerner received a $119m contract to supply process platform jacket and drilling platform jacket for the field.

FMC Kongsberg was selected to provide subsea equipment for the field. The integrated drilling services will be provided by Baker Hughes under a $179m contract signed in July 2015.

Aibel received a $956m contract to deliver EPC services for the deck of drilling platform at the field. Aker Solutions was awarded a $537m contract for providing engineering, procurement and management services for the field.

Odfjell Drilling received a $519m contract for the charter of a drill rig and drilling services in June 2015. An EPC contract for the utility and accommodation jacket was awarded to Dragados Offshore. The safety and automation system (SAS), life cycle simulator and SAS information management system will be supplied by Kongsberg Maritime under a $26m contract awarded in May 2015.