Equinor has started production at Visund Nord IOR (improved oil recovery) project in the Norwegian North Sea below budget and two months ahead of schedule.

The project is expected to produce approximately 13.3 million new barrels of oil, which is 6% more than originally estimated.

During the execution phase, the investment came down to Nkr1.3bn ($154.6m) from the original estimate of Nkr1.5bn ($178m).

Equinor project development senior vice-president Torger Rød said: “It took 21 months from the licence partners chose the concept until production started. This is a new fast-track record for Equinor.”

Visund Nord IOR involved drilling two wells through a new subsea template, which is tied back to an existing structure on Visund.

“The project has a competitive break-even price and will be profitable even with an oil price well below the current level.”

The oil is piped via the existing template to the Visund platform.

Equinor project director Tone Kristin Børslid said: “We are delivering well within the downward adjusted budget. The project has a competitive break-even price and will be profitable even with an oil price well below the current level.

“We are utilising the existing infrastructure effectively as we are routing the oil via the Visund C template which is located 70m away.

“The new template is a copy of this template. We have achieved synergies with other projects and we have even had good weather during the installations.”

Under an EPCI contract, TechnipFMC provided and installed the new subsea facilities while Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig drilled the two wells.