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Equinor has announced that the first oil pumped from the North Sea Johan Sverdrup field has reached the Mongstad plant located north of Bergen in Norway.

The first cargo of around one million barrels, valued at $60m, is expected to leave for customers in Asia this week. Future deliveries are expected to contain between 600,000 and two million barrels, according to Equinor.

Equinor Marketing, Midstream & Processing (MMP) executive vice-president Irene Rummelhoff said: “This is a great day for Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership, consisting of Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total.

“This day also marks the start of a new phase as we prepare to bring Johan Sverdrup oil to the international market.”

At the Mongstad complex, the oil piped from the field is stored in caverns and is ready to be shipped to markets across the globe. The Mongstad refinery is expected to receive up to 440,000bpd from the Johan Sverdrup project, once the first development phase operates at full capacity.

Rummelhoff added: “Oil from Johan Sverdrup is expected to provide revenue of more than Nkr1,400bn for the next 50 years, of which more than Nkr900bn will go to the Norwegian state and society.”

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Once completed in 2022, the second phase will deliver up to 660,000bpd to Mongstad. The plant will receive more than 30% of the total oil from the Norwegian continental shelf once both the phases of the Johan Sverdrup field operate at peak production.

Mongstad complex vice-president Rasmus Wille said: “This is a big day for everyone who has worked for a long time on preparing Mongstad for oil from Johan Sverdrup. It has been a major effort involving plant modifications and completion of pipes.”

Earlier in October 2019, Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership started production from Phase I of the Johan Sverdrup field.