Equinor plans shut down of Veslefrikk field after 30 years

Discovered in 1981, the field came on stream in 1989 and has produced more than 400m barrels of oil equivalent

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Equinor and its partners are planning the shut down of the Veslefrikk field after more than 30 years on stream.

Discovered in 1981, the field, which consisted of a floating production unit as a first on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, came on stream in 1989 and has produced more than 400 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The Veslefrikk partnership, which has invested around NOK20 billion (£1.7bn) in the field, is planning for shutdown in the spring of 2022, with the plugging of wells already started.

When the plan for development and production (PDO) was submitted, the field was expected to be shut down as early as 2009 but its productive life was extended several times.

Geir Sørtveit, Equinor’s Senior Vice President for Operations West said: “Veslefrikk was a technologically pathbreaking development which has paved the way for new, lighter offshore structures after the era of concrete giants in the North Sea.

“In recent years, a formidable job has been done to increase the efficiency at Veslefrikk, extending the field’s productive life and maximising value creation. Once the field is shut down, Veslefrikk will have produced more than 400,000,000 barrels of oil equivalent. This is equivalent to the energy demand for 22 years from all of Norway’s single-family houses and has created great value for Equinor, the partners, owners and society.”

An environmental impact assessment has been conducted and a decommissioning plan for Veslefrikk was sent to authorities in the autumn of 2020.

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