Production from the first phase of the Ærfugl subsea field development in the Norwegian Sea has started from the Skarv FPSO, Aker BP said Nov. 13.

The NOK 8 billion project (US$875 million), which the company said has an initial estimated breakeven price of $15/bbl, has two phases. Phase 1 includes three wells in the southern part of the field, while Phase 2 will consist of three more wells in the northern part of the field. Both are tied back to the existing FPSO on the Skarv Field. The reservoir holds about 300 MMboe, according to Aker BP.

Project partners include Aker BP, Equinor, Wintershall DEA and Polish PGNiG.

“The successful start-up of production from Phase 1 is a major milestone and a great achievement. However, there is no time to relax,” Tom Storvik, project manager for the Ærfugl development project, said in a news release. “We will keep momentum to safely deliver phase 2 on time and cost by the end of next year. Then we will celebrate.”

Aker BP said the development utilizes vertical valve trees for more efficient reservoir drainage and long distance, electrically heated flow lines to avoid hydrates in the gas pipelines.

Knut Sandvik, senior vice president of projects for Aker BP, said alliances have been vital in the project. The subsea alliance includes Aker BP, Subsea 7 and Aker Solutions for subsea, while the rig alliance includes Odfjell and Halliburton and the modification alliance, Aker Solutions and Kongsberg Maritime.

“The alliances have not only been delivering on cost and schedule, despite COVID-19 related challenges, they have as well achieved major improvements since the PDO [plan for development and operation] was approved, including significantly accelerated development of phase 2 and better economics,” Sandvik said.