Balder X, Johan Castberg projects in line for late 2024 startup

April 23, 2024
Vår Energi provides offshore project updates in its latest results statement.

Offshore staff

SANDNES, NorwayVår Energi hopes to start production from its Balder X project in the Norwegian North Sea toward the end of this year, the company said in its latest results statement.

At the Rosenberg yard in Stavanger, recent actions have speeded up construction work on the Jotun FPSO, which has been undergoing upgrades for extended service. At present, the FPSO is about 95% complete, with the focus on completing remaining work in the right sequence to allow commissioning to progress.

Much of the project’s subsea equipment has been installed and 11 of the 14 producer wells have been completed.

The targeted fourth-quarter startup will depend on completion of the work and inshore sailaway in August. However, if weather conditions set back offshore installation activities during the fall, startup could in the worst case be pushed back to mid-2025.

The Equinor-operated Johan Castberg development in the Barents Sea is also on track to start production in the fourth quarter. At Aker Stord, completion and commissioning activities for the FPSO are progressing and following the inshore test phase, the vessel should sail away during the summer.

All subsea installations are complete, and 12 of the 15 development wells planned for startup are drilled and completed.

At the Vår Energi-operated Goliat Field, a new infill oil producer is drilling and should come online later in the current quarter. The rig will then spud the high-impact Venus exploration well west of Johan Castberg.

Vår Energi and Equinor have also contracted a rig for a two-year drilling program in the Barents Sea, starting in the second half of 2024.

In the North Sea, Equinor’s Breidablikk development has been producing from all eight initial wells with drilling of a ninth well recently underway, and it is due to start operations in May.

Later this quarter, ConocoPhillips should start production from the Eldfisk North subsea development in the southern Norwegian North Sea.

This year Vår Energi is stepping up exploration activity offshore Norway with 16 planned wells, of which eight are operated. These will collectively target more than 150 MMboe of net risked prospective resources.

The company’s Cerisa well in PL 636 is currently drilling.



Courtesy AGR, an ABL Group company
Photo 88312239 © Mr.phonlawat Chaicheevinlikit |
Courtesy Wintershall Dea/Morten Berentsen
Wintershall Dea