Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership have started production from Phase I of the Johan Sverdrup field, two months ahead of schedule and with a cost reduction of nearly 30%.

Total investment on the project is valued at NOK40bn ($10.5bn), with Phase I production capacity of 440,000 barrels of oil per day (boe/d). The field is located 150km off the Norwegian coast, along the North Sea.

Johan Sverdrup is operated by Equinor (42.6267%), along with Lundin Norway (20%), Petoro (17.36%), Aker BP (11.5733%) and Total (8.44%). With expected recoverable reserves of 2.7 billion boe, the field is capable of producing up to 660,000boe/d at full scale by the end of 2022 after completion of Phase II development. It is powered with electricity from the shore and has CO2 emissions of less than 1kg per barrel.

Total Exploration & Production president Arnaud Breuillac said: “Johan Sverdrup is one of the major developments that were added to Total’s portfolio through the value adding acquisition of Maersk Oil in 2018.

“It is one of the largest oil fields of the Norwegian Continental Shelf and illustrates our ongoing commitment to Norway – a country that represents about 8% of Total’s global annual production – and to the North Sea where we are the second largest operator.”

According to current estimates, Johan Sverdrup will be responsible for more than one-quarter of total Norwegian oil production in 2023. It is the third largest oil field on the Norwegian shelf in terms of reserves, after Ekofisk and Statfjord.

Equinor Technology projects & drilling executive vice-president Anders Opedal said: “Johan Sverdrup is a giant development, built across nearly 30 construction sites in Norway and globally, and the field centre assembled in the North Sea counts as one of the largest on the NCS.”

In September 2019, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) granted its approval for start-up of the Johan Sverdrup field.