Equinor brings online first tie-back to Aasta Hansteen field

Norway’s Equinor and its partners started production from the Snefrid Nord gas field, the first discovery tied back to the Norwegian Sea Aasta Hansteen field, on September 1, 2019. Aasta Hansteen was developed using the world’s largest and Norway’s first spar platform. 

Suction anchor and template from Aker Solutions in Sandnessjøen passing Helgelandsbroen. (Photo: Rolf Morten Nes)

The discovery also sets a new depth record on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), Equinor said on Wednesday.

Recoverable resources for Snefrid Nord are estimated at 4.4 billion standard cubic meters of gas (27,5 million barrels oil equivalents) and some condensate. This will extend plateau production from Aasta Hansteen by almost a year. On plateau, Snefrid Nord will produce four million cubic meters of gas per day, according to Equinor.

Aasta Hansteen came on stream in December 2018. Together with the Polarled pipeline the field opened a new region in the Norwegian Sea for gas export to Europe. Less than a year later the first discovery is tied back to the field.

“Snefrid Nord has been delivered without any serious injuries, ahead of schedule and within the cost estimate,” said Geir Tungesvik, senior vice president for project development in Equinor.

It cost around NOK 1.2 billion to develop Snefrid Nord. Originally the field was to start production at the end of 2019.

Snefrid Nord was discovered in 2015 and in 2017 the field development was sanctioned. The concept includes one well in a subsea template tied back to the Aasta Hansteen field by a pipeline and an umbilical.

The template is installed at a water depth of 1,309 meters, making Snefrid Nord the deepest field development on the NCS.

“To a large extent the development has been performed in synergy with Aasta Hansteen. As the two projects have used several of the same suppliers, we have been able to combine campaigns and follow-up teams in Equinor and reuse technical solutions,” said Tungesvik.

The template and the suction anchor have been delivered by Aker Solutions in Sandnessjøen, which also delivered the Aasta Hansteen template. The Transocean Spitsbergen rig drilled the well while drilling the Aasta Hansteen wells, and Subsea 7 installed the template in the same campaign as the Aasta Hansteen risers. Pipeline end termination (PLET) for Snefrid Nord has been delivered by Momek in Mo i Rana.

Snefrid Nord is the first field to be tied back to Aasta Hansteen. With the infrastructure in place, more satellites may be developed in the area.

Siri Espedal Kindem, senior vice president for operations north, stated: “There are several interesting prospects and discoveries around us. The new infrastructure makes it possible to develop them and more attractive to explore around the platform and along the pipeline. There is high exploration activity and several discoveries already in the area.”


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