Western Europe’s biggest producing oil field is now expected to hit a daily output rate of 470,000 barrels in early May, above the 440,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) peak that had initially been penciled in for mid-year, the company said.
The North Sea between Britain and Norway, home of the Brent crude stream that underpins global oil prices, is one of the world’s oldest and most expensive oil basins.
MOL said preliminary evaluation of the main discovery shows recoverable resources between 12 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe) and 71 MMboe.
The oil industry’s first coronavirus case on an offshore installation, reported on March 11, highlighted the challenge of preventing contamination for thousands of workers living in close quarters on rigs and platforms.
U.K. oil producer Premier Oil on March 13 said it had identified at least $100 million in potential savings on its 2020 capital spending plans as it and other rivals scramble to adjust to the plunge in global crude prices.
The first coronavirus case reported on an offshore oil and gas installation highlights a further risk for an industry already hit by a crash in oil prices.
Cairn, which owns 30% of Kraken, upgraded its reserves estimates at the field by 6.4 million barrels of oil equivalent after it performed better than expected last year.
The first phase of the Sverdrup field development came on stream last October and has an estimated plateau capacity of 440,000 bbl/d, which Equinor has said it will reach “during summer 2020”.