Oslo — Norway on Friday began to pump natural gas from the third stage of its offshore Troll field, a development that will extend the deposit’s producing lifetime beyond 2050, operator Equinor said on Monday.
Norway is western Europe’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas, covering around 22% of the European Union’s annual consumption. Troll is its largest gas field, supplying around 8% of European Union needs, according to Equinor.
“The further development of the Troll field … reinforces Norway’s ability to secure gas deliveries to Europe in the coming decades,” the company said in a statement.
The startup comes as Russia and Germany are still seeking to overcome U.S. objections to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, a much-delayed project that has caused debate over Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
Recoverable volumes from Troll’s phase 3, which will produce the Troll West gas cap, are estimated at 347 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas, or around 2.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, Equinor said.
The Troll field’s initial gas output came on stream in 1995, followed soon after by a parallel oil-production stage.
By reusing existing infrastructure, notably the Troll A platform and the Kollsnes processing plant, the third-phase development cost just 8 billion crowns ($918 million), well below the equivalent cost per bcm of both previous stages, Equinor added.
“Troll phase 3 is one of the most profitable projects throughout Equinor’s entire history,” it said.
Annual revenue for the Norwegian government from the latest development is expected to average more than 17 billion crowns, the company said.
Equinor holds a 30.58% stake in the field, state energy firm Petoro 56%, Royal Dutch Shell 8.10%, TotalEnergies 3.69% and ConocoPhillips 1.62%.
($1 = 8.7113 Norwegian crowns)
- Reuters (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Jan Harvey)