Snøhvit is the first field development in the Barents Sea. A stand-alone subsea solution the large natural gas volumes from the field are brought ashore for liquefaction at the world’s northernmost and Europe’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) export plant. A total of 20 wells will be drilled for gas production from the Snøhvit, Askeladd and Albatross reservoirs.
Snøhvit is the first major field development on the Norwegian continental shelf without supporting surface installations. There is no platform or production vessel in the Barents Sea indicating where the field is located.
The production facility is located on the seabed in water depths ranging from 250 to 345 metres. The subsea facilities are designed to be over-trawlable, ensuring that neither installations nor fishing gear will be damaged in the event of contact.
The Snøhvit area will be developed in multiple phases. The first phase includes 9 production wells, 6 in Snøhvit and 3 in Albatross, in addition to one carbon dioxide (CO2) injection well.
The gas is transported ashore through a 143-kilometre pipeline to Melkøya off the coast of Hammerfest. CO2 separated from the well stream at Melkøya is stored in a dedicated aquifer offshore. Snøhvit is the first LNG plant in the world reinjecting produced CO2, starting in 2008. The industrial standard for LNG facilities is to emit produced CO2 to the atmosphere.
The second phase of the development includes a new subsea template tied back to existing subsea infrastructure, one new CO2 injector and two new Snøhvit producers. The infrastructure on the seabed being installed in 2015 the wells will be drilled in the period 2016 – 2018. Askeladd is scheduled to come on stream in the 2020-2021 as a third phase of the development of the Snøhvit area.
The Snøhvit licence contains enough gas for maximum capacity utilisation of the processing and transportation facilities until 2042, and sustained production through 2050, and beyond.