STAVANGER, Norway, April 7 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said Monday it started production at the Gudrun oil and gas field in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea.
Statoil, alongside its partners at French energy company GDF Suez and Austria's OMV, started production at a field the Norwegian company said should produce as much as 184 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent over its lifespan.
Gudrun is Statoil's first new operation on the Norwegian continental shelf in nearly a decade. Discovered in 1975, the company described it as a megaproject, representing more than $1.9 billion in investments for Statoil.
Hydrocarbons produced from Gudrun will be sent to onshore production facilities and then on to European consumers through existing pipeline networks.
"Gudrun illustrates how we can maximize value creation and realize new projects on the Norwegian shelf by combining new field developments with existing pipelines and facilities," Arne Sigve Nylund, a Statoil vice president in charge of the Norwegian business area, said in a statement.
There was no statement on the start of Gudrun production from Statoil's partners.
Norway is a European leader in oil production. In January, the last full month for which data are available, production averaged about 1.6 million barrels per day.