STAVANGER, Norway, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A decision to build a floating production unit for an oil field in the Barents Sea may spark a "new industrial era," said Norwegian company Statoil.
"This may spark off a new industrial era," Statoil Executive Vice President for Exploration and Production Oystein Michelsen said in a statement. "This concept choice will facilitate further exploration and help make any future discoveries profitable."
Statoil said production from the offshore Skrugard field will share common infrastructure with the Havis field. Production of an estimated 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day is expected by 2018.
Statoil discovered the two fields in the last two years. The company said the development area may contain as much as 600 million barrels of recoverable oil.
Norway is a European leader in terms of oil and natural gas. Last week, Gassco said natural gas sent from Norwegian fields to European customers reached 3.7 trillion cubic feet last year, an increase of more than 470 billion cubic feet from 2011.
"This represents a new record for Norway's annual gas deliveries," Brian Bjordal, chief executive of transport system operator Gassco, said in a statement. "That reflects high and stable output from the Norwegian continental shelf and strong demand, which confirms in turn that gas from Norway is more attractive than ever."