Production resumed at Equinor’s Njord field in the Norwegian Sea on Tuesday after extensive upgrades to the field’s production platform and the Njord Bravo floating storage and offloading unit.

The facilities were brought to shore for modification in 2016 after 19 years of production, Equinor said.

The Njord field came on stream in 1997 followed by the Hyme subsea tie-back to Njord infrastructure, which came online in 2013.

Equinor said the upgrade will extend the life of the fields and allow the tie-in of two new subsea discoveries, Bauge and Fenja.

“Our ambition is to produce about the same volume from Njord and Hyme as we have produced so far, more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent,” Equinor executive vice president for exploration & production Norway Kjetil Hove said.

The partners plan to drill 10 new wells and to carry out further exploration in the area.

The Bauge and Fenja tie-backs will tap an additional 110 million barrels of recoverable resources, Equinor said.

Production from the Njord field was initially scheduled to resume two years ago but was delayed by the pandemic and related cost pressures, with capital expenditures for the upgrade rising to Nkr31 billion ($3.15 billion) from an initial Nkr17 billion.

Equinor said oil price rises since the plan was submitted have ensured the project remains profitable.

The company said about 90% of the upgrade work benefited Norwegian companies, with Aker Solutions having the main responsibility for the platform engineering and upgrading and Brevik Engineering carrying out engineering work for the Njord Bravo FSO, which has been upgraded by Aibel.

The Njord licensees are Wintershall Dea with 50%, operator Equinor with 27.5% and Neptune Energy on 22.5%.

Other NCS activity

Austria’s OMV is also stepping up activity on the Norwegian continental shelf, having submitted a development plan for the Berling gas and condensate discovery to Norwegian authorities on 21 December.

The 45 MMboe development in production licence 644 is expected to cost Nkr9.1 billion, OMV said.

Berling, which includes the 2018 Iris and Hades discoveries, will be developed as a 24-kilometre subsea tie-back to the Equinor-operated Asgard B platform.

OMV estimates Norwegian content will be 71% for the development excluding drilling, 60% for drilling and 80% for operating costs.

“Berling will create considerable national ripple effects and the gas and condensate volumes will sustain Norway’s position as an important gas supplier to Europe,” OMV general manager Knut Mauseth said.

OMV operates Berling with 30% interest. Its partners are Equinor, with 40% interest, DNO with 20% and Sval Energi with a 10% stake that will go to DNO following government approval.