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Norway approves North Sea gas field development

The Norwegian government has given approval to Statoil for the first phase in the largest industrial project in the country, the Johan Sverdrup gas field in the North Sea. 27 Aug 2015

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said (link in Norwegian) that plans for the first building phase of the of the Johan Sverdrup project have been approved.

The first phase will involve an investment of €117 billion, the ministry said, and will create work for many suppliers. The project will be run by Statoil, Lundin Norway, Petoro, Det norske oljeselskap and Maersk Oil.

Total revenue from the field is estimated to be €1,350bn over the next 50 years, the ministry said.

"The development will have an enormous impact on employment and activity on the shelf, and with many suppliers in the mainland. It will also ensure value creation and help finance welfare in Norway for decades to come," said petroleum and energy minister Tord Lien.

Statoil said that it will now move ahead with plan for development and operation of the field, along with plans to install and operate transport pipelines and power suppliers from shore.

Contracts worth more than $4.9bn have already been awarded, Statoil said.

"The field is of great importance, and will generate substantial spin-offs and value for partners and society for more than 50 years," said Statoil vice president Arne Sigve Nylund. "Focused efforts are now underway in the partnership to ensure that the opportunities and enormous values in the Johan Sverdrup field are captured,” he said.

The Johan Sverdrup field is located on the Utsira High region in the middle of the North Sea, 155 kilometres west of Stavanger. It will be developed in several phases. Phase one consists of four bridge-linked platforms, in addition to three subsea water injection templates. This first phase will have a production capacity in the range of 315,000-380,000 barrels per day, and first oil is planned for late 2019, Statoil said. Full production is estimated at 550,000 – 650,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, accounting for some 40% of total oil production from the Norwegian continental shelf, it said.

The International Energy Agency said this month that global demand for oil is expected to grow by 1.6 million barrels a day this year, the fastest pace for five years. The growth is due to economic growth and to consumers responding to lower oil prices.