Norwegian authorities have approved the NOK 41 billion (US$4.7 billion) plan for development and operation of the second phase of the Johan Sverdrup field development in the North Sea, Equinor said in a news release May 15.

The second phase of the development, which is the biggest underway on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, will increase production to 660,000 barrels of oil per day (bbl/d) from 440,000 bbl/d. Start-up is scheduled for fourth-quarter 2022. Plans call for a new processing platform (P2), riser platform modifications, five subsea systems, and preparations for power supply from shore to the Utsira High in 2022, according to the release.

“This is a big day for Equinor and the other Johan Sverdrup partners comprising Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total,” Anders Opedal, executive vice president of technology, projects and drilling for Equinor, said in the release. “Johan Sverdrup is a world-class field that will provide value to its owners and society for 50 years ahead with record-low emissions. This truly marks the beginning of the second development phase.”

The approval came the same day as construction began on the field’s second processing platform at Aibel’s yard in Haugesund.

Meanwhile, the first phase of the development is nearing 90% completion, and production is expected to start in November.