June 28 (UPI) -- An audit of the Johan Sverdrup oil field, which is expected to be the main contributor to Norwegian oil growth, revealed no issues, a safety regulator found.
Norwegian energy company Equinor, formerly named Statoil, installed a 22,000-ton component of one of the platforms for the infrastructure necessary to pull oil out of the Johan Sverdrup field in early June. The structure, called the topside, is part of one of the four platforms envisioned for the first phase of development of Johan Sverdrup.
Installed in three hours, the company said it was likely the fastest completion of its kind in the industry.
The Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway said Thursday it conducted a series of audits on the design and construction of Johan Sverdrup facilities.
"The processing plant to be installed at Johan Sverdrup is now nearly complete and we wanted to perform an audit to verify that process safety is provided for in compliance with regulatory requirements," its statement read. "No non-conformities were identified."
Development of the phase 1 part of Johan Sverdrup is already underway. A drilling platform could be operational late this year and first oil will be produced from the field in late 2019.
Phase 2 will take production capacity from around 440,000 barrels of oil per day to 660,000 barrels per day by 2022. Plans for phase 2 will be submitted to Norwegian regulators in the second half of this year and the total field is expected to stay in production for about 50 years.
The resource range has been updated slightly, from 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent to 3.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Johan Sverdrup is important for the Norwegian energy sector and the European market as whole. Norway is a regional production leader, alongside Russia, and the latest government forecast shows oil and gas production starts to decline gradually beyond 2025. If production levels are to continue at current rates of around 1.6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, more production and proven discoveries are necessary.
Oil and gas operations represented about 14 percent of the nation's gross domestic product and 40 percent of its export value last year. Contracts worth more than $5.7 billion have been awarded for Johan Sverdrup so far and most of those have gone to companies in Norway.