Equinor unveils 20bcm Irpa gas discovery in Norwegian Sea

Equinor and partners have announced the Irpa gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea will have 20bcm recoverable gas reserves.

The NOK14.8bn development is scheduled to come on stream in Q4 2026. There will be joint production from Irpa and Aasta Hansteen through 2031 and then Irpa will continue to produce until 2039.

Gas will be phased into existing infrastructure over Aasta Hansteen and transported to the Nyhamna gas processing plant via Polarled. From there, it will be transported via the Langeled pipeline to customers in the UK and continental Europe.

Partners in the project are Equinor Energy (operator) 51%, Wintershall DEA (19%), Petoro (20%) and Shell (10%).

Grete Birgitte Haaland, Senior Vice President for Exploration and Production North, said the development shows that near-field exploration and utilisation of existing infrastructure provides good resource utilisation on the Norwegian continental shelf.

She said, “Irpa will maintain existing jobs at Aasta Hansteen, at the supply base in Sandnessjøen, at the helicopter base in Brønnøysund and at the operations centre in Harstad.”

Hogne Pedersen, Project Director for Irpa, said deep water (1,350m) and low temperatures on the seabed have made the project challenging, and necessitated the qualification of innovative new technology for pipelines “but good support in the partnership and increased demand for gas have made an investment decision possible”.

The discovery will be developed with three wells and an 80km pipeline to the Aasta Hansteen platform. As the only planned deepwater development in Norway, the technical solution will contribute to new competence development in the industry.

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