Equinor Persisting With Wisting Development Plan
Norwegian major Equinor remains on track to start the development of the Wisting field in the Barents Sea before the end of 2022. The company is of the opinion that the field can be developed in a safe and secure manner.
However, together with its partners, Aker BP, Petoro, and INPEX Idemitsu Norge, Equinor has issued a complementary assessment for the Wisting development for public consultation, shedding more light on the project.
“The complementary assessment elaborates some key subjects from the impact assessment, strengthening the decision-making basis for a safe and secure field development,” says Trond Bokn, Equinor’s senior vice president for project management control.
The impact assessment for the Wisting project was submitted for public consultation on February 1, 2022, with a deadline for statements within 12 weeks. Slightly less than 50 statements were received from various parties. On a request for additional information, Equinor decided to conduct a complimentary assessment on June 30, 2022.
“The impact assessment, public consultation processes, and the complementary assessment have so far not brought to light any information which changes our view that developing Wisting is technically and environmentally appropriate. The work on technical studies and detailing of plans for the development of the project will continue towards the planned investment decision at the end of 2022,” Bokn adds.
The plan for development and operation (PDO) to be submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy includes the full decision-making basis for Wisting, including public consultation statements and feedback.
The government will then present its recommendation to the Norwegian Parliament (Storting), including an evaluation as to whether the obligation to conduct an impact assessment has been met, and whether field development is recommended.
Due to the Wisting field’s geographical location in the Barents Sea, solid solutions for safe year-round operations are required. The management plan for the Barents Sea, adopted in 2020, forms the framework for the field development, and the Wisting development concept is well adapted to the conditions in the Barents Sea. As fields producing for up to 30 years call for good long-term climate solutions, the field is proposed to be powered from shore.
The complementary assessment provides additional details on the potential impacts of the development for four subjects: Year-round activities, environmental risks, oil spill contingency, and the use of the best available techniques for field development and operations.
Equinor will give feedback on each individual statement on the impact assessment and the complementary assessment no later than at the submission of the PDO. The deadline for statements on the complementary assessment is within two weeks, in compliance with the PDO guidelines.
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