Lundin Petroleum is expecting to publish new reserves estimates for the giant Johan Sverdrup field offshore Norway early next year once the results of an extensive appraisal programme are known.

Results from this year’s current appraisal programme on the field will be used to update recoverable resources – which are currently put at around 3.5 bn barrels – and to assist a development team with its project planning, Lundin indicated today in a second quarter results statement.

“It is expected that updated resources will be announced in the first quarter of 2013,” declared the Swedish based exploration company.

Currently an “aggressive” appraisal programme is underway at John Sverdrup, Ashley Heppenstall, Lundin’s chief executive recounts: Lundin has already completed two appraisals in the PL501 licence area over the field; a third appraisal is ongoing, and another two are due to be completed this year. Also Statoil, operator of the other Johan Sverdrup licence, PL265, is to drill three further appraisals this year, and one of these will explore the southern extent of the Aldous Major North element of the field complex.

“I now expect that further appraisal drilling will take place in 2013 to fully delineate the field which covers an area of over 150 square kilometres,” Heppenstall reports today.

So far, Lundin, operator of PL501, has signed a pre-unitisation agreement with Statoil, operator of PL265, through which Statoil is acting as the working operator for the development, and will co-ordinate work up until submission of a fiedevelopment plan to the Norwegian authorities for approval.

“All PL501 and PL265 parties have agreed a timetable for Johan Sverdrup which involves a conceptual development decision by end 2013, plan of development submission by end 2014 and target first oil by end 2018,” Heppenstall adds.

Several other Norwegian field developments by Lundin are progressing: A Plan for Development and operation of the Edvard Grieg field has been approved, a PDO for the Boyla field has been submitted for approval, and production from the Gaupe field started in March.

For the second quarter, Lundin reported net profit of US $64.5 million, down from $76.9 m in the second quarter last year. For the first six months of 2012, Lundin reported net profit of $113.8 m, down from $133.1 m for the first half of 2011.

On 25 June, Lundin secured US $2.5 billion of new finance, involving a seven-year borrowing base facility, with a 25 bank syndicate.