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Statoil rolls out North Sea development plans

Norwegian energy major aims to stimulate regional output using existing infrastructure.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Statoil rolls out North Sea development plans
Norwegian energy company Statoil submits development plans for North Sea that include the use of existing infrastructure. Graphic courtesy of Statoil

STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said Friday it planned to spend more than $100 million to tap into new a oil and gas discovery in the North Sea.

Statoil and its partners said they submitted plans for the development and operations of the Byrding oil and natural gas discovery to regulators. A capital spending target of $120 million will help, through the use of existing infrastructure, exploit a basin estimated to hold as much as 11 million barrels of oil equivalent.

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The Norwegian energy company said the Byrding reservoir will complement volumes from nearby operational facilities.

"Byrding will add new profitable volumes from the Troll/Fram area, boosting the activity and production on the Troll C platform," Gunnar Nakken, a regional vice president for Statoil, said in a statement.

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The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, said the Troll field contains 49 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and production stands at around 1 trillion cubic feet. Gas from the field is transported through three different pipelines to a processing facility at Kollsnes, an island off the southern coast of Norway.

Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas exporters to a European economy looking to lessen its dependence on Russian natural gas reserves.

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Once Byrding enters into production in late 2017, any oil and gas pulled from the field would be piped through existing networks. Statoil estimates the field will stay in production for about a decade.

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Even though low oil prices resulted in weak earnings, the Norwegian energy company said it was keeping its production expectations unchanged for the year.

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