Equinor and its partners have commenced production from the Aasta Hansteen gas field in the Norwegian Sea, which has been developed with an investment of around NOK 37.5bn ($4.47bn).
Located 300km west of Sandnessjøen, the Aasta Hansteen gas field has been developed using a spar platform, which comprises a floating installation with a vertical cylindrical hull moored to the seabed. The 339m tall spar platform weighs 70,000 tons.
Gas from the offshore Norwegian field is produced from seven wells in three subsea templates and is transported via the 480km Polarled gas pipeline to the Nyhamna terminal in Møre og Romsdal for further export to the UK.
Equinor expects the Aasta Hansteen gas field and the Polarled pipeline to create a new region for gas export to Europe.
The Norwegian oil and gas giant further claimed that the offshore gas field and the pipeline have the capacity to facilitate new discoveries. Included in them is the Snefrid North discovery in production license 218, which is currently under development with an investment of about NOK1bn (115.5m), and expected to enter into production towards the end of 2019.
The recoverable resources at the Aasta Hansteen gas field, including Snefrid North, are projected to be 55.6 billion standard cubic-metres (Sm3) of gas and 0.6 million Sm3 of condensate (353 million barrels of oil equivalent).
The two fields are expected to produce a combined 23 million Sm3 or so of gas per (144,000 BOE) per day at plateau.
Equinor Norway development and production executive vice president Arne Sigve Nylund said: “The production from the Aasta Hansteen field will help secure long-term Norwegian gas export.
“With the infrastructure installed it will also be more attractive to explore around the platform and along the pipeline. This enables us to secure activity for many decades, in line with our ambitions for the NCS.”
Equinor is the operator of the Aasta Hansteen gas field with a stake of 51% and is partnered by Wintershall Norge with a 24% stake, OMV (Norge), with a 15% stake and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia with a 10% stake.