May 25 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy major Equinor, formerly Statoil, said it signed a multi-million dollar agreement to drill six new production wells in the North Sea.
Oilfield services company Odfjell landed a framework agreement with the Norwegian company to coordinate on drilling three wells on the Fram field and three production wells in the Askeladd license area in the North Sea using the Deepsea Atlantic rig.
"We expect the contract to provide up to 18 months of work before we move to the framework agreement, aiming to find new assignments for the rig on a continuous basis," Geir Tungesvik, a senior vice president for drilling and well operations at Equinor, said in a statement.
Fram Vest in the North Sea is expected to be in production for the next 15 years. Production peaked more than a decade ago at more than 60,000 barrels of oil a day. Fram øst started production in 2006 and reached its plateau rate of 50,000 barrels per day two years later.
In a separate statement, Equinor said the three wells could yield 70 million new barrels of oil and gas from the Fram complex.
Askeladd won't start production until 2022. The full work plan for Odfjell begins in January.
Elsewhere, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, said Friday it gave Equinor consent to extend operations at its Oseberg Øst facility until 2031. The regulator said there are 31 million barrels of oil left in the field, about 10 percent of the original total capacity.
Owned by Odfjell Drilling, the Deepsea Atlantic rig is among the largest in the world. Norway, meanwhile, is one of the biggest oil and gas producers in Europe.
Equinor's equity production in the first quarter was 1.5 percent higher than the same period last year.