OSLO, Norway – Equinor has the go-ahead from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to start up the Aasta Hansteen production facilities in the Norwegian Sea.
The company expects to initiate production during the fall 2018. Consent applies to production licenses 218 and 218 B.
Aasta Hansteen is 320 km (199 mi) west of Bodø in a water depth of 1,270 m (4,167 ft). The field is under development viaNorway’s first spar platform, anchored to the seafloor.
It is also the world’s largest spar to date, with an overall weight of 70,000 metric tons (77,162 tons), and the first to incorporate a condensate storage tank.
Drilling continues of the eight production wells, which will be connected to two four-slot subsea templates and two one-slot templates.
The NPD estimates total investments for the project at around NOK37.5 billion ($4.49 billion), in line with the proposals in the plan for development and operation (PDO).
After submitting the PDO, Equinor included the 2015 Snefrid Nord gas discovery in PL218 in the Aasta Hansteen development, at an expected cost of just below NOK1 billion ($120 million).
Equinor assessed recoverable reserves for Aasta Hansteen, including Snefrid Nord, at 55.6 bcm of gas and 0.6 MMcm of condensate.
Produced gas will be transported through the new Polarled pipeline to the Nyhamna terminal in Møre og Romsdal on the mid-Norwegian coast for onward export to the UK.
Condensate will be loaded onto tankers and shipped to the market.
“Start-up of Aasta Hansteen opens the door for gas production from a completely new province in the northern Norwegian Sea,” said Kalmar Ildstad, assistant director, development and operations – Norwegian Sea.
“After the project was approved by the Storting [Norway’s parliament] in 2013, several other interesting discoveries have already been made in the area.
“A development of these resources will naturally make use of the Aasta Hansteen facility for gas processing and transport. The production from the Aasta Hansteen field and other discoveries in the area will therefore contribute to ensuring long-term gas export from the Norwegian shelf in the years to come.”