Norwegian state-controlled Equinor has submitted plans to develop the Oseberg field to become a "substantial gas producer", having been primarily an oil field.
The amended plan for development and operation of the field envisages two new compressors from 2026. About 60pc of gas at Oseberg has yet to be extracted, whereas oil production is in the "tail phase", Equinor said.
The company expects Oseberg gas output to exceed 100bn m³ "towards 2040". Output from the Oseberg Area Unit — comprising the Oseberg, Oseberg Sor and Oseberg Ost fields — has amounted to 78bn m³ since October 2000 when gas production began, with data available up to September 2021.
Output ramped up considerably in the 2020-21 gas year, hitting a new peak of 8.63bn m³ (see graph).
If 100bn m³ is produced in the next 20 gas years, ending with the 2040-41 gas year, output could be about 5bn m³/yr over that period, identical to the Oseberg Area Unit's permit for the 2020-21 gas year. The quota rose to 6bn m³ for 2021-22.
And if only two-fifths of Oseberg's gas has been produced, this implies remaining resources higher than that of about 117bn m³.
Oseberg Area Unit's production far exceeded its permit for the 2020-21 gas year, even after factoring in deferred gas produced from the 2019-20 gas year and the 10pc upward tolerance in the original permit.
Oseberg has the third-most unextracted gas behind Troll and Snohvit, the latter of which provides feedgas for Norway's shuttered 4.2mn t/yr Hammerfest liquefaction plant, Equinor said. The firm last week said it would provide an update on the Hammerfest plant "from early December". The facility is scheduled to return on line in March, having closed last year because of fire damage.