OSLO (Reuters) - Energy firm Equinor has won permission to start its giant North Sea Johan Sverdrup oilfield in the autumn, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Monday.
On Friday the company notified oil market participants that the 2.2-3.2 billion barrel field could begin oil shipments in October, earlier than previously expected.
The first loading program lists 11 cargoes in October, implying output of around 226,000 barrels per day (bpd), a trading source said.
Production is expected to hit 440,000 bpd in the summer of 2020 and should rise further to 660,000 bpd once the second phase comes on stream in late 2022, Equinor has said.
Sverdrup, discovered by Lundin Petroleum in 2010, is the third-largest field off Norway by reserves, and is expected to produce oil for the next 40 years, the NPD said.
Equinor and its partners Lundin, Aker BP, Total and Norwegian state-owned Petoro have estimated the first phase of development to cost 83 billion crowns ($9.3 billion).
Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Dale Hudson