May 24 (UPI) -- The Norwegian government said Wednesday it gave its consent to energy company Statoil for the June start of new oil and gas production from a North Sea field.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, issued its consent for the start of production operations from the Gina Krog field in the Norwegian waters of the North Sea.
"Operator Statoil is planning start-up in late June 2017," the regulator said in a statement.
Statoil drilled its first well at the Gina Krog field in 2015 and estimated the total recoverable reserves at 225 million barrels of oil equivalent. Gas from the field will be delivered through existing pipelines and oil will be transported to a storage vessel.
Most of the reserves at Gina Krog exist as oil. Apart from Russia, Norway is among the largest suppliers of oil and natural gas to the European market, designating nearly all of its offshore production for exports
The NPD reported last week that preliminary data for April show a daily production of 1.7 million barrels of oil, 377,000 barrels of natural gas liquids and 31,000 barrels of an ultra-light form of oil called condensate. The preliminary data for April is 2 percent below March figures and, for oil, was lower by about 30,000 barrels per day. April production, however, was about 4 percent higher than last year.
Norway was mentioned as a possible future contributor to an effort led by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to balance an oversupplied market with managed declines. A spokesperson for the Norwegian Energy Ministry told UPI in response to emailed questions that the country "is not in a position where product regulations are in question."