Apprentice Sander Kjeseth Rath (left), Rasmus F. Wille, vice president of the Mongstad plant, Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream & Processing in Equinor, and Kjell-Børge Freiberg, minister of Petroleum and Energy, with a sample of oil from the Johan Sverdrup field. Photo © Jannike Steindal Nordanger

A North Sea giant comes ashore at Mongstad

Excited workers gathered at Mongstad recently to tap the first oil from the massive Johan Sverdrup field.

They were joined by Norway’s Minister for Petroleum and Energy, Kjell-Børge Freiberg, who beamed in front of the cameras while holding a flask of pitch-black oil.

This giant field has been a source of pride for the petroleum industry, and it’s easy to see why. 

Not only will Johan Sverdrup produce up to 660,000 barrels per day at its peak – around 30% of all the oil produced in Norway – but it will do so with record‑low carbon emissions.

This is because Equinor’s facility in the North Sea uses hydroelectric energy from shore, rather than fossil fuel generators.

This means that the company can produce oil with around 90% less CO2 emissions compared to the average project. This is equivalent to saving the emissions of 310,000 cars per year.

On top of these massive CO2 savings, the Johan Sverdrup field is also expected to have a big impact on Norway’s finances.

“Oil from Johan Sverdrup is expected to provide revenue of more than NOK 1400 billion for the next 50 years, of which more than NOK 900 billion will go to the Norwegian state and society,” says Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president for Marketing, Midstream & Processing (MMP) in Equinor.

The Johan Sverdrup field will operate with record-low CO2 emissions. Photo © Espen Rønnevik/Øyvind Gravås.

New opportunities at Mongstad

The success of Johan Sverdrup is a source of celebration for Norway, but it is especially good news for the Mongstad region.

The field will deliver millions of barrels of oil to the area north of Bergen over the next few years, turning on the tap for new jobs and growth.

Equinor bosses are considering how they can expand the refinery at Mongstad – already the largest of its kind in Norway.

The neighbouring harbour, Mongstad Supply Base, will also see an uptick in activity.

The harbour will see an extra 200 ships per year heading out for various ports across the world, each capable of carrying up to 2 million barrels of oil.

This will provide new opportunities for the companies at CCB’s supply base, and could even attract new businesses to settle in the region.

Mongstad has large areas of land available for new businesses, such as the Storemyra Industrial Park.

Norway’s “green spot”

At the same time, a partnership of public and private organizations has launched a project to market the Mongstad region as an attractive place for new businesses.

The initiative will also seek to turn Mongstad into a “green spot” on the map.

Tanja Hoel, Director of Business Development at Alver municipality, explains that the project will “help sustainable companies to take part in the industry cluster that is already at Mongstad.”

This could include companies that wish to re‑use CO2 emissions from the refinery, or even to produce hydrogen fuel for the local shipping industry.

Alver municipality, together with partners Nordhordland Business Association and Industry Development West, recently received 1.4 million kroner (roughly $150,000) from Hordaland County Council to support the new initiative.

The partnership will look at the region’s comparative advantages, develop the “Green Spot Mongstad” concept, and market the area both nationally and internationally.

Invest in Bergen is involved in efforts to highlight Mongstad as a business destination.  As part of this process, we are developing a website to show where new companies can establish themselves in the region.

Interested in viewing the website? Sign up to our mailing list and you’ll be the first to know when it goes live.


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