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The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted its approval for start-up of Equinor’s Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, which is expected to produce oil for the next 40 years.

Located in blocks 16/2, 16/3, 16/5 and 16/6, the field is 155km west of Karmøy and 40km south of the Grane field. It comprises three production licences namely 265, 501 and 502, besides 501B.

NPD Development and Operations director Ingrid Sølvberg said: “The Johan Sverdrup field is a shining example of the possibilities and the values that can be achieved through exploration of mature petroleum provinces on the shelf.”

According to Equinor, the first stage of construction development is expected to involve an investment of around NOK83bn ($9.1bn).

It is estimated that the total recoverable reserves are about 430 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents, which is around 2.7bbloe. Nearly 95% of this is oil, while 3% is dry gas and the remaining is natural gas liquids (NGL).

Johan Sverdrup is capable of producing more than 105,000m³ of oil per day. The field is being developed in a phased construction, with the first stage including a field centre with four installations connected by bridges.

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The second phase of construction includes expansion of the field centre with a new process platform and five subsea templates connected to the field centre. It will also include development of the outer areas of the reservoir.

Electric power for the field will be supplied from the land-based grid, while gas and stabilised oil will be transported through a gas pipeline to Statpipe and an oil pipeline to Mongstad.

In June 2019, Equinor awarded an EPC contract to Subsea 7 for the Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 project. The company awarded $80m contract to Kaefer Energy to provide operations and maintenance work on the second phase of the project, in May 2019.