News | May 15, 2023

Official Opening Of The Njord Field – Ready For 20 More Years

Today, 15 May, the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea will be officially opened by the minister of petroleum and energy, Terje Aasland. The platform and the floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO) have undergone extensive upgrades and are now ready for doubling the field life – and more than doubling production.

“With the war in Ukraine, the export of Norwegian oil and gas to Europe has never been more important than now. Reopening Njord contributes to Norway remaining a stable supplier of gas to Europe for many years to come,” says Terje Aasland, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The Njord field started production in 1997 and was originally supposed to produce until 2013. However, systematic work with increased recovery means that there are still large volumes of oil and gas left. New discoveries in the area can also be produced and exported via Njord.

In 2016, the platform and FSO were disconnected from the field and towed to shore for extensive upgrades. On 27 December 2022, production resumed from the Njord field.

“This is the first time a platform and an FSO have been disconnected from the field, upgraded and towed back offshore. We have now doubled the field life,” says Grete B. Haaland, Equinor’s senior vice president for exploration and production north, and continues:

“It has been a big and demanding job, partly carried out during a pandemic, and I would like to thank everyone involved in preparing Njord for continuing its supply of oil and gas to the market. With the prices we anticipate in the coming years this comprehensive upgrading project will be repaid in in just under two years after startup.”

It is not just the field life that has been doubled. The ambition is also to double production and produce approximately the same volume from Njord as we have produced so far, around 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Ten new wells will be drilled on Njord from an upgraded drilling facility, discoveries have previously been made in the Njord area and more exploration will be carried out close to the field.

In addition, two new subsea fields have already been tied back to Njord. On 8 April, the Equinor-operated Bauge field started its production, while the Fenja subsea field, operated by Njord partner Neptune Energy, came on stream on 27 April. Recoverable volumes from the two fields combined are 110 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Plans call for future partial electrification of the Njord field based on power from shore via the Norwegian Sea Draugen platform, thereby reducing annual CO2 emissions by around 130,000 tonnes.

Njord facts

  • The Njord licensees are Wintershall Dea Norge AS (50 percent), Equinor Energy AS (27.5 percent, operator) and Neptune Energy Norge AS (22.5 percent).
  • The Njord Future project has a Norwegian content of more than 90 percent. Aker Solutions has had the main responsibility for the platform engineering and upgrading. Brevik Engineering has conducted the engineering work for the FSO, which has been upgraded by Aibel. Global Maritime and Ocean Installer have been responsible for marine operations.
  • Production start on the Njord field was delayed by two years. The project became more demanding than expected and the corona pandemic hit the project hard. It also led to higher costs. Investment costs are just above NOK 31 billion (2022) compared to the original NOK 17 billion estimated in the plan for development and operation.
  • Njord is located in the Norwegian Sea, 30 kilometres west of Draugen, and 130 kilometres northwest of Kristiansund. The water depth is 330 metres.
  • Discovered in 1986, Njord came on stream in 1997. The Hyme subsea field was tied back to Njord in 2013.
  • Produced oil is piped to the Njord Bravo FSO and onwards by tankers to the market.
  • Gas from the field is exported through a 40-kilometre pipeline connected to the Åsgard transport system (ÅTS) and from there to the Kårstø terminal.

Source: Equinor ASA