Norway’s Equinor and its partners have decided in favour of Troll West electrification and on Friday are submitting the plan for development and operation to the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Troll West - Equinor
Source: Equinor

The Troll field lies in the northern part of the North Sea, around 65 kilometres west of Kollsnes, near Bergen. The field is operated from Equinor’s operations organisation at Sandsli in Bergen.

The decision includes partial electrification of the Troll B platform and full electrification of Troll C, Equinor explained in a statement on Friday.

According to plans, Troll B will be partially electrified in the first quarter of 2024 and Troll C will be fully electrified by the second quarter of 2026.

Equinor said that the project will cut CO2 emissions by almost half a million tonnes per year, i.e. the equivalent of more than three per cent of total emissions from oil and gas production and one per cent of total emissions in Norway.

NOx emissions from the field will be reduced by some 1700 tons per year.

Kjetil Hove, Equinor’s executive vice president for Development & Production Norway, said: “Electrification is essential to the successful reduction of the emissions from the NCS, and we have ambitious plans for this. The partnership’s decision to electrify Troll B and Troll C will cut emissions substantially.

“The Troll area will deliver enormous volumes of low-emission energy for many decades, adding great value for the companies and for Norway”.

Capital expenditures total about NOK 7.9 billion ($947 million). The project has been pledged a total of NOK 520 million ($62.3 million) in financial support from the Norwegian NOx fund.

Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects & Drilling, said: “I am very pleased that we can realize Troll B and C electrification, a project that will help cut emissions on the NCS significantly”.

Nylund added: “We expect that about 70 per cent of the investments in this project will go to companies in Norway”.

“The temporary changes to the petroleum tax regime adopted by Parliament as a result of Covid-19 have enabled us to implement several of the projects planned prior to the pandemic”, Nylund said.

Development solution

The subsea cable to the Troll B and C platforms will have a landfall at Kollsnes in Øygarden west of Bergen. A high-voltage subsea cable will run from Kollsnes to Troll B, and one from Troll B to Troll C.

Troll West electrification includes full electrification of Troll C, and partial electrification of Troll B. This means that both platforms’ current power demand will be met from shore.

In addition, the two gas export compressors on Troll C currently driven by gas turbines will be replaced by electric motors. The infrastructure at Kollsnes and cable out to the platform will be designed for a possible future full electrification also of Troll B.

The Troll A platform, which came on stream in 1996, was the first electrified installation on the NCS.

Troll West contracts

Troll West electrification project will require substantial deliveries of goods and services.

Aker Solutions has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for modifications enabling the Troll B and C topsides to receive power from shore.

Worth around NOK 2.9 billion ($347.7 million), the contract will generate about 1000 man-years of work for the supplier during the project period.

Engineering will be performed from Aker Solution’s Bergen office, and construction will take place at the Stord yard. The supplier estimates that a total of 4000 people will be involved in the work, including sub-contractors.

Furthermore, Skanska has been awarded a contract for the construction of a new transformer substation, cable trenches and landfall at Kollsnes. The contract is worth around NOK 390 million ($46.8 million).

The work will be headed by Skanska’s construction division in Bergen. The project is estimated to generate around 100 man-years of work for Skanska and sub-suppliers during the project period.

In addition, NKT has been awarded a contract for the production and installation of a high-voltage subsea cable from Kollsnes to Troll B and from Troll B to Troll C. The contract is worth about NOK 1 billion ($119.9 million).

Cable production will take place at the company’s factory in Karlskrona, Sweden, and they will use the vessel NKT Victoria for the cable laying work.

On 26 March 2021, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted Equinor a concession to construct, own and operate the necessary electrical installations to supply the Troll B and Troll C platforms with power from shore.

Troll Unit partners are Equinor 30.6% (operator), Petoro 56%, Shell 8.1%, Total 3.7%, and ConocoPhillips 1.6%.

Also on Friday, Equinor and its partners decided to develop the Askeladd Vest project, which is located in the southern Barents Sea. The investment in the project is close to NOK 3.2 billion (about $384 million).

As part of the multi-phased Snøhvit development, Askeladd Vest will extend plateau production at the Hammerfest LNG plant by a good two years. Plans call for the production to start in the first half of 2024.

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