Equinor and its partners are moving forward with plans to develop the Wisting oil discovery in the Arctic Barents Sea, with a final investment decision expected by the end of 2022, the company said Nov. 12.
Wisting, Norway’s northernmost oil discovery some 193 miles north of the Nordic country’s mainland, is estimated to hold about 440 million barrels of oil equivalent.
“Wisting is a considerable oilfield in the Barents Sea, and we are cooperating well with our partners in further maturing the project,” Equinor said in a statement.
Norway’s push to explore and develop new oil and gas fields in the Barents Sea has been criticized by environmentalist groups that have filed court challenges against the expansion into the ecologically fragile region.
On behalf of the partnership, Equinor on Nov. 12 awarded contracts for concept studies, including to Aker Solution and TechnipFMC.
As it stands, the plan is to use an FPSO to produce hydrocarbons from the field, albeit with a final concept selection expected in second-quarter 2021.
To reduce CO2 emissions from operations, the partners will also study the possibility of connecting the offshore installations to an onshore grid, Equinor said.
Equinor, which has a 35% stake, will operate the field during its development phase, while OMV, which has 25%, will take operatorship when the production starts. Norway's Petoro and Japan’s Idemitsu Petroleum each have stakes of 20%.
In October, Idemitsu agreed to sell half of its stake to Sweden’s Lundin Energy.
Vaar Energi, a joint venture of Eni and HitecVision , operates the only producing oil field in Norway’s Arctic, known as Goliat, while Equinor plans to start production at its Johan Castberg field in 2023.
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