Equinor to shut down Veslefrikk field in Norwegian North Sea

23 February 2021 (Last Updated February 23rd, 2021 15:49)

Equinor and its partners are planning to close the Veslefrikk field located in the Norwegian North Sea block 30/3 in mid-2022, following more than 30 years of operational life.

Equinor to shut down Veslefrikk field in Norwegian North Sea
The Veslefrikk field in the North Sea. Credit: Øyvind Hagen.

Equinor and its partners are planning to close the Veslefrikk field located in the Norwegian North Sea block 30/3 in mid-2022, following more than 30 years of operational life.

The field commenced operations in 1989 through Norway’s first floating production platform and has produced over 400 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).

As part of the closure plan, the plugging of wells has started at the field, which saw an investment of approximately Nkr20bn ($2.36bn).

Equinor Operations West senior vice-present Geir Sørtveit said: “Veslefrikk was a technologically pathbreaking development which has paved the way for new, lighter offshore structures after the era of concrete giants in the North Sea.

“In recent years a formidable job has been done to increase the efficiency at Veslefrikk, extending the field’s productive life and maximising value creation. Once the field is shut down Veslefrikk will have produced more than 400,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

“This is equivalent to the energy demand for 22 years from all of Norway’s single-family houses, and has created great value for Equinor, the partners, owners and society.”

The firm submitted its decommissioning plan to the Norwegian authorities at the end of 2020.

Equinor’s Field Life Extension (FLX) business area will implement decommissioning work for the field.

The Veslefrikk B semi-submersible production platform is tied into the fixed wellhead platform Veslefrikk A.

The Veslefrikk B is planned to be dismantled in the autumn of 2022 followed by Veslefrikk A platform in 2025/26.

Prior to towing the Veslefrikk B floating unit to shore for dismantling, the platform’s topside systems are planned to be closed and cleaned, and oil and gas export pipelines will be cleaned and disconnected.

Equinor’s Field Life Extension (FLX) business area senior-vice president Camilla Salthe said: “As the biggest operator we have much infrastructure that must be gradually decommissioned on the Norwegian continental shelf. We have solid project capabilities in the area, and have developed good plans for removing Veslefrikk in a safe and efficient manner.”

Equinor Energy has 18% stake in the field. The other licensees are Petoro (37%), Repsol Norge (27%), and Wintershall Dea Norge (18%).

Contracts associated with the removal work are planned to be awarded in the first half of this year.