State-run Polish gas firm PGNiG has agreed to buy Equinor's 42.38% stake in the Tommeliten Alpha gas and condensate field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for $220 million, as part of its plan to diversify supplies, PGNiG said on Oct. 18.
Poland uses around 17 billion cubic metres (Bcm) of gas a year and imports more than half of that from Russia's Gazprom .
In order to reduce that reliance, Poland has increased liquefied natural gas (LNG) deliveries via a Baltic Sea terminal and also plans to build a gas pipeline to Norway via the Baltic Sea and Denmark by 2022 when the deal with Gazprom expires.
PGNiG said the stake would entitle it to recoverable reserves at the Tommeliten Alpha field of around 52 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).
"This latest gas field acquisition in Norway is of special importance to us," PGNiG Chief Executive Piotr Wozniak said in a statement.
"It means a significant increase in natural gas production in the region. It is from here that we plan to send gas to Poland via Denmark through the planned Baltic Pipe pipeline."
PGNiG said the deal would help it increase gas output in Norway by 0.5 Bcm a year for the first six years of field production, which is expected to start in 2024.
The company plans to increase its gas output in Norway to 2.5 Bcm by 2022 from 0.55 Bcm in 2017. The Baltic Pipe's capacity will be 10 Bcm a year.
The Tommeliten Alpha field is operated by ConocoPhilips, which holds a 28.26% stake. Total owns 20.23% and Eni Norge 9.13%.
Up to three new wells will be drilled at a cost of around 2 billion Norwegian crowns ($222 million), Equinor said.
The company plans to start Aerfugl production in first-half 2020, three years ahead of what had originally been billed as the field’s second phase.
Despite that, oil output in 2017 of 86.2 million cubic meters (MMcm), or 542 million barrels (MMbbl), missed the 90.2 MMcm forecast made a year ago, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said Jan. 10.