Equinor’s $914M Troll Phase 3 offshore project gets green light

Equinor’s proposed development of Phase 3 of the Troll field in the Norwegian part of the North Sea has been approved. The Norwegian oil giant will with its partners invest NOK 7.8 billion (USD 914 million) in the project that’s expected to come online in 2021. 

The Troll A platform in the North Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has approved the plan for development and operation (PDO), a project which should help extend the productive life of the Troll field beyond 2050. The field came on stream in 1995, and has, per Equinor, generated an estimated NOK 1400 billion, i.e. NOK 175 million (USD 20 million) per day.

According to info on Equinor’s website, despite producing for over 20 years, Troll is not nearly depleted. Quite the contrary, the field is Norway’s biggest gas producer, and Equinor says 65% of the gas in the field has still not been recovered.

“With a break-even of less than USD 10 per barrel, Troll Phase 3 is one of the most profitable and resilient projects ever in our company. Thanks to the PDO approval Equinor and its partners can now deliver another 2.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent from the field with a CO2 intensity of 0.1 kilo per barrel,” says Torger Rød, Equinor’s senior vice president for project management.

“Equinor will work closely with partners and suppliers planning start-up of the field in the first half of 2021,” says Rød.

“This adds a new chapter to the amazing Troll story. The field has an important part in our plans to transform the Norwegian continental shelf for sustainable value creation for several decades,” says Gunnar Nakken, Equinor’s senior vice president for Operations West.

“Troll is the biggest gas producer on the NCS, meeting 7-8% of Europe’s total daily gas consumption. We will deliver safe, profitable and carbon-efficient energy from Troll that helps reduce coal consumption and reduce CO2 emissions in Europe with a long-term perspective beyond 2050,” says Nakken.

Troll field illustration image by equinor
Troll field illustration/image by Equinor

Equinor stressed that the development of Troll phase 3 is also important for Norwegian supply industry, as some 70 % of the value creation will take place in Norway.

The partnership has awarded contracts within marine installations and subsea facilities totalling an estimated NOK 950 million to the companies Nexans, Deep Ocean, IKM, Allseas, and Marubeni. In addition, the partnership has awarded contracts worth approximately NOK 2 billion for subsea facilities and the construction of a new processing module on the Troll A platform to Aker Solutions.

Troll partners are Equinor (30.58% – operator), Petoro (56%), Norske Shell (8.10%), Total E&P Norge (3.69%), ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (1.62%)

The plan

The plan for the development of the Troll Phase 3 was submitted to the Norwegian authorities in July 2018, after the partners had chosen a subsea solution tied back to the Troll A platform as a concept for Troll Phase 3.

The subsea concept includes the construction and installation of two subsea templates, drilling of 8 production wells, laying of a 36-inch pipeline and installation of a new processing module on the Troll A platform. The development will be powered from shore. The Troll Phase 3 project extends the plateau production for gas from the Troll field by about 7 years, and the expected productive life by about 17 years.

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