Oil production at Norway’s giant Johan Sverdrup oil field has risen to about 350,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), operator Equinor told Reuters on Dec. 3.
The North Sea field, which began output on Oct. 5, is now western Europe’s largest oil producer with output exceeding fields such as Equinor’s Troll and ConocoPhillips’ Ekofisk in Norway and Britain’s Buzzard, operated by a unit of China’s CNOOC.
The production ramp-up is progressing “very well” and Equinor’s goal of reaching phase-one capacity of 440,000 bbl/d in the summer of 2020 remains unchanged, said Arne Sigve Nylund, the company’s head of Norwegian output.
Equinor’s partner Lundin Petroleum, which discovered Sverdrup in 2010, has said two to four new production wells could be needed to reach full capacity. Eight wells were drilled before the field’s startup in October.
Svedrup’s oil loading program showed 19 cargoes are expected in January, bringing the total to 11.8 million barrels, or 381,000 bbl/d, up from an expected 337,000 bbl/d in December, analysts at DNB Markets said last week.
Daily production is expected to peak at 660,000 barrels after phase two development comes on stream in late 2022.
At its peak, Sverdrup is expected to produce about 30% of all oil on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, Equinor has said.
Equinor holds a 42.6% stake; Lundin, 20%; Petoro, 17.36%; Aker BP, 11.57% and Total, 8.44%.
The deal would create the largest pure-play northern Midland Basin E&P with a 73,000-net-acre position and 12,000 boe/d of production that is expected to more than double through 2020.
Repsol will still hold a 51% stake in the block after the deal.
The March 20 lease sale in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico brought in $244.3 million in high bids.