Equinor and its partners have secured approval from Norwegian authorities to commission the third development phase of the Troll gas field in the North Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) reported on July 2.
Troll is already Norway's biggest source of gas production, covering up to 7% of European demand, according to the NPD. It produced over 35bn m3 of gas along with additional oil and natural gas liquids in 2020, state data shows.
Troll Phase 3 aims to recover an extra 347bn m3 of gas, and involves two subsea templates hosting eight wells connected to the Troll A platform. The project's plan for development and operation was filed with authorities in 2018 and production had been due to start this spring, but was delayed until this autumn as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, the NPD said.
"Troll is a giant on the Norwegian shelf," the NPD said. "The field supplies as much as 7% of Europe's daily demand for gas, and Troll Phase 3 will help maintain a high level of production for a long time to come."
Troll has been in production since 1995. Equinor is working to lower the field's emissions by supplying its platforms with clean energy from onshore and decommissioning gas-burning turbines. Troll A is already electrified, and Equinor awarded a contract to Aker Solutions to electrify the Troll B and C platforms in February, pending its final investment decision on the project.
Equinor operates the field with a 30.6% interest, while Petoro has 56%, Shell has 8.1%, TotalEnergies 3.7% and ConocoPhillips 1.6%.
Norwegian gas supply came to 8.7bn m3 in May, the latest month for which data is available, 2.3% above forecast and marking a 6% growth year on year. Month on month, though, supply was down 11%, due to the onset of field maintenance.
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