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Statoil To Begin New Drilling Project in North Sea

Oil Platform

Norway’s oil and gas regulator has authorized Statoil to begin operations in the Norwegian areas of the North Sea, according to a report by Offshore Post.

The local company, which owns 60 percent market share in Norway, will exploit the Rutil deposit in Gullfaks South using a standard subsea template, with a total of four well slots and two gas production wells, according to statement released by NPD.

“The NPD is very pleased with the development of the Rutil project, which is expected to finish in less time and at a lower cost than originally planned,” said Tomas Mørch, assistant director of development and operations in the Norwegian North Sea.

Statoil’s investment in Rutil turned out to be 25 percent less expensive than projected earlier, the regulator said, referring to the numbers provided in the application the company submitted in December 2014.

Originally, the firm planned to begin construction in December 2016, but a revised timeline puts the start date in August or September of this year.

The project aims to extend the lifetime of the existing Gullfaks A platform by offering an additional 80 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Statoil completed a 19-month exploration project on the Canadian island province of Newfoundland, according to the research site Zacks.

The project revealed two new discoveries with the potential to provide oil in the lower range of the 300 to 600 million barrels it had predicted for the area in 2014.

Related: U.K. Loses 120,000 Oil Jobs In Oil Bust

Last week, BP Plc announced a US$1.3 billion merger with its Norwegian counterpart Det Norske Oljeselskap, in a move designed to cut costs and challenge Statoil’s dominance of the Nordic country’s energy industry.

The newly merged company, to be called Aker BP, will produce over 10 percent of the nation’s oil output - still well below Statoil’s dominating percent market share.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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