North Sea Veslefrikk field to cease operations

Feb. 22, 2021
Equinor and its partners will end production from the Veslefrikk field in the Norwegian Sea in spring 2022.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, NorwayEquinor and its partners will end production from the Veslefrikk field in the Norwegian Sea in spring 2022.

Operations started in 1989 through Norway’s first floating production platform, and the facilities have since produced over 400 MMboe.

Investments to date total around NOK20 billion ($2.36 billion), and the field’s productive life has been extended several times: it was originally expected to cease production in 2009.

Veslefrikk B is a semisubmersible production platform is connected to the fixed Veslefrikk A wellhead platform (converted from the drilling rig West Vision).

In 2002 the field also began processing from the Huldra field (since decommissioned) with a shared control room and crew.

Equinor operates Veslefrikk from its center in Sandsli outside Bergen, which also oversees operations at the Oseberg area.

In the fall of 2020, the company submitted its decommissioning plan to the Norwegian authorities. Its new Field Life Extension (FLX) business area has responsibility for implementing decommissioning projects on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Before Veslefrikk B can be towed to shore for dismantling in the fall of 2022, its topside systems must be shut down and cleaned, and oil and gas export pipelines cleaned and disconnected.

Over the years 74 wells have been drilled on the field. Archer started plugging wells from Veslefrikk B last month, with Baker and Ardyne supplying most other drilling and well services: a total of 24 wells will be plugged.

Veslefrikk A should be removed in 2025/26.

Before mid-2021 Equinor expects to award contracts for removal and dismantling of Veslefrikk A; dismantling and recycling of Veslefrikk B; and work on the seafloor associated with export pipeline cleaning and disconnection.

Further contracts will follow for the planning, management, and implementation of the towing of Veslefrikk B to shore.

Other partners in the license are Petoro, Repsol Norge, and Wintershall Dea Norge.