Equinor has announced a commercially viable gas discovery by the Gina Krog field in the North Sea, with plans to commence production as early as the fourth quarter of 2023. The discovery, although considered small, is significant due to its location and potential impact on the region’s energy supply.
This gas discovery represents the first commercial find in the Gina Krog license since 2011. The recoverable volumes are estimated to be between 5 and 16 million barrels of oil equivalent. The Noble Lloyd Noble rig executed the drilling, and the exploration success is attributable to the strategic partnership wherein Equinor is the operator, holding a 58.7% stake, with KUFPEC Norway AS (30%) and PGNiG Upstream Norway AS (11.3%) as partners.
The commercial viability of this discovery stems from the ability to leverage the existing infrastructure of the Gina Krog platform, which has been prepped for a quick transition to production. “The discovery will help extend the lifetime and strengthen the profitability of Gina Krog and is important for the entire Sleipner area,” highlighted Camilla Salthe, senior vice president for field life extension at Equinor. She underscored the benefits, saying, “It will quickly bring new gas to Europe with good profitability and low CO2 emissions from production.”
The initiative is aligned with Equinor’s broader objective of enhancing energy delivery to Europe, especially in light of the energy crisis that began in 2021. During the crisis, the Gina Krog partnership notably escalated its gas exports by reallocating gas that was originally intended for injection in oil extraction. Equinor said this adaptation was not only a response to the immediate need for increased energy supplies but also ignited the acceleration of projects aimed at prolonging the field’s operational lifespan.