London — The Tyra gas field in the Danish sector of the North Sea will restart production only in June 2023 -- a delay of almost one year -- as coronavirus-related issues mean the original target of July 2022 will not be met, operator Total said Nov. 6.
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Tyra -- Denmark's biggest gas field -- was closed in September last year for redevelopment work due to seabed subsidence.
In a statement, Total said the COVID-19 pandemic had caused local governmental imposed restrictions and shutdown of yards building the new Tyra facilities, and had "significantly" impacted the global supply chain delivering key components for the topsides.
"Due to these impacts and as installation activities can only be carried out during the summer-season in the North Sea, the installation of four new topsides have been rescheduled from 2021 to the 2022 installation window," Total said.
Total holds a leading 43.2% stake in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), which operates Tyra, alongside Norway's Noreco (36.8%) and the Danish state-owned Nordsofonden (20%)
The aging Tyra field is integral to Denmark's gas industry with more than 90% of the country's production processed through the field's facilities.
Morten Hesselager Pedersen, head of the Tyra redevelopment, said the postponed restart of production was a consequence of impacts from COVID-19 and would allow an additional summer-season for installation.
"We have worked closely with our main contractors and have carefully analyzed and used all opportunities to optimize the many integrated and parallel project activities from fabrication to logistics and installation of the new Tyra," he said.
Denmark's gas grid operator Energinet said in a statement the delay was a result of the "seasonal nature" of North Sea operations, adding that it would update guidance on the restart if the schedule was again revised.
Its area manager Jeppe Dano said the supply situation in Denmark was stable more than a year after Tyra was taken offline and that Danish gas stocks were full and ready to supply the market for the coming winter.
"Market participants have already booked sufficient storage and transport capacity to be able to supply both Denmark and Sweden until 2022," Dano said.
"We are convinced that the market will also respond appropriately and book storage and transport capacity to be able to supply Denmark and Sweden until June 2023, when Tyra production is now expected to restart," Dano said.
He added that Denmark is due to begin imports of gas from Norway from October 2022, when the Baltic Pipe project comes online, and is also building out a significant biogas production capacity.
"Denmark is up to almost 22% of gas consumption that can be covered with self-sufficient Danish green gas from the gas network," Dano said.
Danish gas production dropped to 3.2 Bcm in 2019, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, partly as a result of the Tyra closure. That is down from a recent high of some 9 Bcm/year a decade ago.
Tyra had been threatened with permanent closure from 2018 due to poor economics, but in March 2017 the DUC partners struck a deal with the Danish government on maintaining the operational life of the field through improved fiscal terms.
The partners took a final investment decision on the project in December 2017, allowing for the field to operate for an additional 25 years and boosting the prospect of new developments in the Danish sector of the North Sea.
The redevelopment is expected to cost DKr21 billion ($3.35 billion), with Total stressing Nov. 6 that the project remained on track to be delivered within budget.
Tyra's gas output has been falling since a peak of some 4 Bcm/year in the late 1990s.