Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partnership consisting of Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total, said Oct. 5 production has started from the giant field in the North Sea. The startup comes more than two months ahead of and NOK 40 billion (US$4.38 billion) below the original estimates for development and operation.

“Johan Sverdrup coming on stream is a momentous occasion for Equinor, our partners and suppliers,” said Eldar Sætre, president and CEO of Equinor, in a statement. “At peak, this field will account for around one third of all oil production in Norway and deliver very valuable barrels with record low emissions. Johan Sverdrup is expected to generate income from production of more than NOK 1400 billion (US$153.9 billion) of which more than NOK 900 billion (US$98.9 billion) to the Norwegian state and society.”

Johan Sverdrup has expected recoverable reserves of 2.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Bboe) and the full field can produce up to 660,000 barrels of oil per day (bbl/d) at peak. Powered with electricity from shore, the field has record-low CO2 emissions of well-below 1 kg per barrel.

The breakeven price for the full-field development is less than US$20/bbl. After reaching plateau for the first phase, anticipated during the summer of 2020, expected operating costs are below US$2/bbl. The operator also expects cash flow from operations of around US$50/bbl in 2020, based on a real oil price of US$70/bbl, partly as a result of the phasing of tax payments in the ramp-up phase.