STAVANGER, Norway, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Norway's petroleum ministry approved fast-track development plans for the Svalin oil field in the North Sea, energy company Statoil said.
Statoil said it would use existing infrastructure to tap into the offshore Svalin field in shallow waters of the North Sea. The company said the area holds about 75 million barrels of oil and is to begin production in 2014.
The company said the Svalin field will produce only oil, a characteristic considered unusual for fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.
In terms of natural gas, the company said it started production at the Visund South field in the North Sea. Oil there is expected to account for 25 percent of the production overall production. The volume of reserves in Visund South was estimated by Statoil at 67 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Statoil said Visund South represents about $1 billion in investments. The field has an expected lifespan of more than 15 years.
Norway is Europe's top oil producer and ranks second, behind Russia, in terms of natural gas.