First oil from the Johan SverdrupJohan Sverdrup on stream. Source: Equinor

First oil from the Johan Sverdrup

October 5th marks the day the giant Johan Sverdrup comes on stream, two months ahead of schedule and NOK 40 billion below the original budget.

Nine years after the field was proven, production commenced on Saturday from the North Sea giant, Johan Sverdrup. 24/7, for the next 40 years, oil from this field will secure substantial revenues for Norway.

The field is expected to ramp up quickly as the eight pre-drilled production wells are progressively commissioned. Phase 1 plateau production is expected to be achieved by summer 2020 and will require two to four new wells to be drilled, with the first of these expected to come on stream around the end of 2019.

Phase 1 of the project has been developed as a field centre of four platforms – drilling, processing, living quarters and riser platform.

The field has gross recoverable reserves of 2.7 BBoe and during Phase 1, Johan Sverdrup will produce 440,000 bopd, increasing to 660,000 bopd, after Phase 2 of the development commences production in the fourth quarter 2022.


  • Includes development of another processing platform (P2), modifications of the riser platform and the field centre, five subsea templates, in addition to the power-from-shore supply to the Utsira High (including the Edvard Grieg, Ivar Aasen and Gina Krog fields) by 2022.
  • Contracts awarded so far in phase 2 amount to more than NOK 20 billion. 85% of the contracts have been awarded to suppliers in Norway.
  • Production capacity: 220,000 bopd.
  • Capital expenditures: estimated at NOK 41 billion (nominal terms based on fixed currency).
  • Production start: Q4 2022 (expected).

Johan Sverdrup Phase 2. Source: Equinor

At its peak, the field will produce approximately 25% of all petroleum production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Johan Sverdrup Phase 1 has been delivered below the original budget, saving to date approximately NOK 40 billion gross at project exchange rates.

High quality in execution, new technology and digitalization

“Starting production months ahead of schedule helps realize additional value from the field and is fitting for a project that over the development phase has redefined excellence in project execution,” says Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, projects & drilling in Equinor.

“The qualification of new installations technology has reduced safety risk, saved more than two million offshore hours and shaved months of the development schedule. We have also invested in digital solutions and ways of working to boost oil recovery, optimize production and improve field operations, and these new ways of working have already saved at least one month in the execution stage,” says Anders Opedal, Executive VP for Technology, Projects & Drilling in Equinor.

“In the same year that Norway celebrates 50 years since the Ekofisk discovery in 1969, which started the oil and gas adventure in Norway, the start-up of Johan Sverdrup lays the foundations for another 50 years of industrial activity and value-creation on the NCS”, says Arne Sigve Nylund, Executive VP for Development and Production Norway.