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Norway’s Top Oilfield Could Hit Peak Production by Year-End

The Johan Sverdrup oilfield in Norway, Western Europe’s biggest oilfield which came online in 2019, will likely reach peak production rates by late 2024, earlier than expected, Upstream reported on Tuesday.

While this is bad news for Norway’s ambitions to continue strong oil production, Johan Sverdrup is now producing more than initial expectations and operator Equinor hasn’t changed the estimate of recoverable reserves of almost 3 billion barrels of oil equivalents, Upstream’s Norway Correspondent Russell Searancke writes.

Last year, Equinor and its partners in the Johan Sverdrup oilfield carried out a successful capacity test, confirming that the field can produce up to 755,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd). That’s around 100,000 bpd higher than the original expectation of 660,000 bpd production at plateau, or about a third of Norwegian oil production at the current level.

The peak 755,000 bpd equals 6-7% of the daily European oil consumption, Equinor said last year.

Apart from oil, Johan Sverdrup produces 31,500 barrels of oil equivalents of gas per day, the field operator added.

Norway’s natural gas production beat forecasts and rose to a record high in December, preliminary figures from the Norwegian Offshore Directorate showed last month.

Oil production also beat forecasts, by 1.9%, and stood at 1.847 million bpd last month, up from 1.805 million bpd in November.
Norway, a key ally of the EU and a founding member of NATO, expects to continue exporting large volumes of natural gas and oil to Europe, but it will need more exploration, discoveries, and investments by 2030 to maintain the current high level of activity and production.

Oil and gas companies plan to boost exploration activity and spending offshore Norway this year as Western Europe’s top oil and gas producer looks to maintain production and raise exports to the rest of Europe.

Currently, most exploration efforts are focused on areas around existing infrastructure so discoveries can be tied back quickly and create value while the fields are still in operation, the Norwegian Offshore Directorate said.

While this is important for maintaining production levels in the near and medium term, the directorate said it “would like to see companies exploring actively in more frontier areas.”

By Tsvetana Paraskova for