Troll and Oseberg gas production high in February

  • Market: Natural gas
  • 19/04/24

Gas output from Norway's Troll and Oseberg fields stayed high in February, and production from the two fields must fall over the remainder of the gas year unless the fields overproduce their quotas.

Maximum output from Troll and Oseberg is capped by a yearly quota, set at 40.47bn m³ for Troll and 7bn m³ for Oseberg for October 2023-September 2024, although there may be some flexibility to overproduce or carry over unused quota from previous years.

Production at Troll edged down in February from previous months to 124.6mn m³/d, but was still the fourth-highest for any single month. The three months with higher production were November 2023-January 2024.

And production from the Oseberg area — including Oseberg proper and the South and East satellite fields — averaged 24.4mn m³/d, slightly down on the month but still the second highest since April 2022.

High output from both fields means that they will have likely each produced more than half their quota in the first half of the gas year.

Troll produced 18.9bn m³ from its 40.47bn m³ quota in the first five months of the gas year, the latest data available, while Oseberg produced 3.2bn m³ of its 7bn m³ quota. And deliveries on offshore system operator Gassco's network in March and April so far have been similar to in previous months, suggesting output from the two largest fields has held similarly high.

Assuming this is the case, production from the two fields may have to hold at no more than 93mn m³/d and 17mn m³/d for the remainder of the gas year if they are to avoid exceeding their quotas. But if the fields were to produce to quota, plus unused quota from the 2022-23 gas year, output would be 103mn m³/d and 23mn m³/d, respectively.

There is an average of 8.3mn m³/d of maintenance scheduled at Troll over the remainder of the gas year, leaving flexibility for the field to produce up to quota and still have capacity to produce another 10mn-15mn m³/d more. Oseberg has less than 1mn m³/d of maintenance scheduled, but producing to the quota while also producing unused quota from the 2022-23 gas year would take it much closer to its nameplate capacity of roughly 25mn m³/d.

While the quotas could allow continued strong production, output in previous years has always been lower in summer than in winter. And operators could have an incentive to delay some production if prices in the remainder of the season fall far below prices for future summers. TTF monthly contracts for delivery in the remainder of the summer were assessed an average of €2.02/MWh ($2.15/MWh) below the summer 2025 price on Thursday, but €3.36-8.22/MWh above summer contracts for delivery in 2026-28.

No return to strong reinjections

Implied injections at fields where operators have halted gas reinjections — Skarv, Visund, Gina Krog and Gullfaks — ticked up to 8.2mn m³/d in February, the highest since November 2021.

But the upwards move does not necessarily indicate a return to injections at levels similar to before mid-2021. Injections were low and steady on the month at Skarv and Visund, where operators have indicated that gas reinjections have mostly been halted for good. Injections were flat at Gina Krog as well, although production of 8.4mn m³/d was the highest since June 2022. And the spike in injections at Gullfaks was similar in size to other spikes since mid-2021, and still well below injections before mid-2021 (see implied injections graph).

Aggregate output from all fields connected to the pipeline export network averaged 341mn m³/d in the month, down from January but up slightly on the year.

Monthly production from pipeline-linked fields

Implied reinjections at selected fields

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