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While Statoil expands its operations in Brazil, two European energy companies—Spanish Repsol and German VNG—have announced investment plans for two fields in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.
The Norwegian oil ministry said the two have committed a combined US$2.2 billion for the development of the Fenja and Yme fields, with a view to start commercial production in the beginning of the next decade.
Repsol will spend US$960 million (8 billion crowns) on the development of the Yme field in the North Sea, whose recoverable reserves are estimated at 65 million barrels of oil equivalent, with maximum daily production seen at 50,000 barrels. The Spanish company is operator of the field with a stake of 55 percent, in partnership with Lotos Exploration, OKEA, and KUFPEC Norway as minority shareholders. First oil should flow in the first half of 2020.
VNG, for its part, will invest US$1.22 billion (10.2 billion crowns) in the Fenja field, which holds around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. The German company has a 30 percent in the field. Its partners are Point Resources with 45 percent, and Faroe Petroleum with 25 percent.
Most of Norway’s reserves in the North Sea have already been exploited, and now a lot of large fields are nearing depletion, but there is still oil and gas to pump there, as indicated by Repsol’s and VNG’s ambitious investment plans. The bulk of the untapped hydrocarbon reserves of Europe’s largest producer are in the Arctic: the Barents Sea.
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Statoil has been active there, but this year’s drilling season failed to yield any significant finds. Statoil said it will return next summer, upbeat about the discovery prospects—but in the meantime, the state oil major is expanding its presence in the next hot spot for Big Oil: Brazil.
Earlier this week, the company said it had acquired a 35-percent stake in the Roncador field in the offshore Campos Basin. The field has remaining recoverable reserves of more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The acquisition will triple Statoil’s Brazilian production.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.