Norwegian energy producer to expand North Sea field output

Norway's largest oil and gas company said Tuesday it will invest an estimated 7.8 billion kroner ($936 million) to further develop an offshore oil and gas field beyond 2050 to strengthen the country's ability to supply Europe with gas.

Margareth Oevrum, vice president of Equinor — formerly known as Statoil — says "this is probably one of the most profitable and robust projects in the company's history."

She said the new development phase of the Troll field would yield 2.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent with a break-even cost of less than $10 per barrel. The annual export volume from Troll is estimated to be 8 percent of the gas consumption in the European Union.

The company, in which the Norwegian state has a 67 percent stake, says "future value creation from Troll is estimated at 1.65 trillion kroner ($202 billion)."

It said the plan submitted Tuesday to Norwegian authorities means "carbon-efficient gas supply equivalent to the consumption of 50 million households in Europe for 30 years."

The Troll field has been Norway's biggest oil producer for the past five years, Equinor said, adding that after more than 20 years on stream, about 65 percent of the gas has still not been recovered. Because of its "enormous resources," the development and production was split into three phases.

Equinor, which holds a 30.6 percent stake in Troll, said its partners were Petoro, Norske Shell, Total E&P Norge and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia.

Gunnar Nakken, an Equinor senior vice president, said Troll, which came on stream in 1995, has "generated great value for the whole society," or 175 million kroner ($21.4 million) per day in average.