Statoil said the Fram field on the Norwegian continental shelf could yield as much as 10 million barrels of oil equivalent. The project is one of the smallest that the company has set aside for fast-track development, though field development manager Halfdan Knudsen said it could be a "door-opener for new developments" in the area.
The company said installation of equipment on the sea floor, including pipelines, is expected by next summer. Drilling in the Fram field is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Fram was discovered 2007
Norway is the largest oil producer in Europe and the second-largest exporter of natural gas after Russia. The Norwegian government had said it expected investments in the oil and natural gas sector to reach $30 billion by the end of the year.