Statoil, partners plan $10 bn Norwegian Sea investment

Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil and its partners presented plans Tuesday to develop a Norwegian Sea gas field and build a pipeline at a cost of 57 billion kroner (8.0 billion euros, $10 billion).

Statoil submitted a plan to the Norwegian government to begin development of the Aasta Hansteen field, believed to hold 47 billion cubic meters of gas, starting in late 2017.

The project would require a 480-kilometre (300-mile) deep-sea pipeline, called Polarled, which could become an important link between the current network of Norwegian pipelines further south and future gas fields in the Arctic.

"Polarled will open a new region and facilitate further exploration activities and development of future discoveries in the area," a senior Statoil official, Eldar Saetre, said in a statement.

The Aasta Hansteen field is located some 300 kilometers from Norway's northwestern coast and lies at a depth of around 1,300 meters. Statoil owns 75 percent of the field, previously known as Luva, while Austria's OMV owns 15 percent and ConocoPhillips of the US holds 10 percent.

The development cost of the field is estimated at 32 billion kroner, and at full-capacity its production would be 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, Statoil said.

Polarled is meanwhile expected to cost 25 billion kroner, and will be owned by Norwegian groups Statoil, Petoro and Gassco, OMV, Anglo-Dutch Shell, France's Total and GDF Suez, Germany's RWE Dea, US groups ConocoPhillips and Edison, and Maersk Oil of Denmark.

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