Norway’s Johan Sverdrup oilfield, the largest in western Europe, is ramping up production in the fourth quarter after the government increased its production permit, Lundin Energy, a partner in the field, said on Oct. 30.
Equinor-operated Sverdrup increased its production capacity to 470,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in March from an original 440,000 boe/d, but output was soon after capped by government-imposed limits.
Norway in May joined OPEC and other producers in voluntary output curbs to help prop up oil prices as the novel coronavirus pandemic undermined demand.
Maintenance work and technical problems at some fields cut output more than expected in the third quarter, however, and the shortfall can be made up in the final three months of the year.
“During November, we will be further testing capacity at Johan Sverdrup, and we expect that we will be able to show that we can produce above 470,000 boe/d,” Lundin’s CEO Alex Schneiter told a call with analysts.
“The new permit will allow the field to produce at maximum capacity, and there will be no limit for testing,” he added.
Norway’s Oil and Energy Ministry, which imposed the curbs, and Equinor, which has a 42.6% stake in Sverdrup, were not immediately available for comment.
Other partners include Total, Aker BP and Petoro.
Lundin, which has a 20% stake in Sverdrup, said the field produced net 89,800 boe/d for the company in the third-quarter, putting the total field output at 449,000 boe/d.
The company also said the government had increased the production permit for the Edvard Grieg field to the maximum capacity.
Lundin earlier on Oct. 30 raised its output forecast for the full year.
The CEO said he didn’t expect the Norwegian government to extend production curbs beyond 2020, despite a new wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I haven’t had any signals on that front whatsoever,” Schneiter said.
The sale notice for oil leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will be published on Dec. 7, setting up a sale to be held on Jan. 6 via video livestream, the BLM said in a statement.
Agency is considering lower royalties; most GoM facilities are producing at less than 25% capacity.
The proposal would revise a suite of Obama-era rules crafted to improve safety in the extreme conditions of the Arctic after a Shell drilling rig ran aground there in 2012.