Norway green lights Johan Castberg project in the Barents Sea

13/06/2018 09:38 Oil Market


The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has approved Equinor’s plan for development and operation of the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea.

“Today we have a solid project that will be central in the further development of the northern regions,” said Margareth Øvrum, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling.


With first oil scheduled for 2022, the field could remain in production for 30 years. Equinor estimates capex at NOK49 billion ($6.12 billion), and recoverable resources in the range of 450-650 MMboe.


The development will feature a production vessel connected to 30 subsea wells distributed on 10 templates and two satellite structures. This is the most extensive scheme for any subsea field presently under development globally, the company pointed out.


In 2014, the original capex figure was more than NOK100 billion ($12.48 billion) and the break-even oil price was above $80/bbl.


However, with the help of suppliers and partners, Equinor altered the concept and found new solutions for a development that is set to be profitable at an oil price less than $35/bbl.


There will be a dedicated supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest, northern Norway, and an operations organization in Harstad. Opex costs are estimated at NOK1.15 billion ($143 million)/year.


Equinor and operators of other oil fields in the Barents Sea are also considering an oil transfer arrangement at Veidnes in Finnmark County, including both a downscaled terminal solution and ship-to-ship transfer.


Partners in Johan Castberg are Equinor (operator 50%), Eni Norge (30%), and Petoro (20%).


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