The last pipe of what is now Norway’s longest and largest oil pipeline was installed recently right next to the riser platform at the Johan Sverdrup field. The 36-inch pipeline extends 283 km (176 miles) from the Mongstad oil terminal outside Bergen to the giant field in the North Sea. The oil pipeline lies at its deepest point 537 meters (1,762 feet) below the sea surface.
With the oil pipeline installed, Saipem Castorone is now getting ready for the next stage—laying the 156-km (97-mile) gas pipeline that will extend from the Johan Sverdrup field to the Statpipe pipeline, from where gas from the field will eventually be shipped to Kårstø. The pipeline installation operations are expected to be completed during the autumn.
When the pipeline operations are complete, the 2018 Johan Sverdrup installation campaign will be over. With three jackets, two topsides, one bridge, more than 400 km (249 miles) of pipelines, and 200 km (124 miles) of power cables, the 2018 campaign is probably the busiest installation campaign ever for a project on the Norwegian continental shelf.
In 2019 the last two topsides and remaining bridges will be put in place before startup of the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development expected in November next year.
Johan Sverdrup is one of the five biggest oil fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. With expected recoverable resources of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (with an expected span between 2.2-3.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent), it is one of the most important industrial projects in Norway over the next 50 years.
Johan Sverdrup will be developed in several phases. Phase 1 is expected to start up in November 2019 with production capacity estimated at 440,000 barrels of oil per day.
Phase 2 is expected to start up in 2022, with full field production estimated at up to 660,000 barrels of oil per day. Peak production on Johan Sverdrup will be equivalent to 25% of all Norwegian petroleum production. The plan for development and operation (PDO) for phase 2 was submitted to Norwegian authorities on 27 August 2018.