Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has sanctioned the Nkr8.2bn ($991m) plan for development and operation (PDO) of Oseberg Vestflanken 2 field by Statoil.

The company aims to cut investment costs throughout the engineering phase and has reduced the break-even price of the project by about 30%.

Statoil project management senior vice-president Torger Rød said: "Oseberg Vestflanken 2 is a pioneer project of great strategic importance.

"This new concept has been required to meet the high safety standards established for installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf."

As part of expansion plans, the company will drill wells at Oseberg Vestflanken 2 using the new category J rig Askepott, which is currently under construction and is owned by the Oseberg licence.

"This new concept has been required to meet the high safety standards established for installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf."

Statoil operations west senior vice-president Gunnar Nakken said: "It is gratifying that the strategies established for the procurement of Oseberg’s licence rig is now being realised through a profitable project, optimally utilising the existing infrastructure."

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The project will help prolong the life of the Oseberg field and serves as a vital contribution to Statoil’s ambition of sustaining production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf at the existing level to 2030 and beyond.

The field is the first of three planned phases for developing the remaining reserves in Oseberg.

Statoil Petroleum owns a 49.3% stake in the Oseberg Vestflanken 2 production licence along with Petoro (33.6%), Total E&P Norge (14.7%) and ConocoPhillips (2.4%).

The field’s first oil is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.

Image: The Oseberg Vestflanken 2 development consists of an unmanned wellhead platform with ten well slots. Photo: © Statoil.