Equinor's Johan Castberg Offshore Field Start-up Delayed until Q4 2023, Safety Watchdog Says

June 1, 2021

World Energy Reports LLC.
johan castberg.jpg

The startup of Equinor's Johan Castberg oilfield in the Arctic Barents Sea will be delayed by one year until the fourth quarter of 2023 due to technical problems, denting its value, Norway's oil and gas safety watchdog said on Tuesday.

The Petroleum Safety Authority said it had identified "serious breaches" of regulations in the construction of the hull for the field's floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

"The project (is) now expected to come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2023, with a consequential reduction in present value as a result of delayed earnings," the PSA said in a statement.

The regulator launched its investigation last year after becoming aware of the problems related to the hull's welding at the Sembcorp Marine (SCM) yard in Singapore.

SCM was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

Equinor's own investigation has showed "quality deviations" regarding both welding and welding inspection, and the company has promised to cross-check and repair welds.

"When Johan Castberg comes on stream, there should be no doubt that the vessel is safe," Geir Tungesvik, Equinor's senior vice president for project development, said in April.

The PSA, however, said that it was not technically feasible to identify reliably all potential defects.

"Inaccessible details and areas will have a lower structural reliability than would have been the case if the welding had been done by competent personnel," it added.

Equinor was not immediately available for comment.

The company has previously said Johan Castberg development costs were to increase by 6% or 2.8 billion Norwegian crowns compared to the original estimate, both due to delays and the currency effect.

Equinor has a 50% stake in the project, while partner Vaar Energi, a subsidiary of Eni, holds 30% and Norway's state-owned Petoro owns 20%. 

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Terje Solsvik and David Evans)

Floating Production Week delivers unrivaled overview, insight and analysis to the Offshore Floating Production Systems and Technology market

Floating Production Systems Report And Online Database

  • Annual five year outlook and forecast – At the start of each year we prepare a detailed assessment of future deepwater development and forecast the pace of orders for floating production systems over the next five years. Our 2021 annual report looks at market conditions likely to prevail through 2025 and provides our assessment of which of the 200+ floater projects in the planning queue will reach the final investment decision by end-2025
  • Monthly reports - Our monthly reports provide a detailed snapshot of the business sector as of the middle of each month. More than 100 pages of data and industry analysis each month. Excel spreadsheets with each report enable subscribers to tailor the data presentation to their needs. In our May report we revisit the annual forecast and make revisions as needed.
  • Online database - The online database is updated every day – with information direct from primary sources. In the database are details for 200+planned projects, 390+ installations in service, 40+ floaters on order and 40+ floaters available. The database is fully searchable. Customized charts and spreadsheets can be directly produced from the database. Data are easily exported to excel spreadsheet.
  • Customer support - We are available to assist with technical questions about information in the database and reports -- and assist with any questions about using the database search tools.

Here's what you get!

Request a Demo