STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Norwegian oil company Statoil said Tuesday the nation's prime minister attended a ceremony for the launch of its first new regional oil platform in nine years.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg opened the Gudrun platform in the North Sea, the first new oil platform operated on the Norwegian continental shelf since 2005.
"Gudrun has proven that we are able to take our industry into a new era with global competition and local value creation," Statoil Chief Executive Officer Helge Lund said in a statement.
Statoil, alongside its partners at French energy company GDF Suez and Austria's OMV, said the field should produce as much as 184 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent over its lifespan.
Discovered in 1975, the Norwegian company described it as a megaproject, representing more than $1.9 billion in investments. Initial production from Gudrun is estimated at 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Norway has more oil reserves than any other European country. Last year, it exported 1.19 million bpd worth of oil, with most of that headed to the British and Dutch economies.