Wintershall Dea has commenced drilling four production wells on the Dvalin gas field in the Norwegian Sea with the aim to achieve first production next year.

The oil and gas company is utilising the Transocean Arctic rig for the drilling operations, which is expected to continue for nearly one year.

All four wells will be drilled to a depth of nearly 4,500m.

The drilling programme was initiated following the completion of preparatory works in the last few months. It includes the installation of pipe-lines and the manifold at a water depth of around 400m.

Recently, a 3,500t processing module was completed and placed on to the Equinor-operated Heidrun platform to support gas recovery operations from the Dvalin field.

Wintershall Dea chief technology officer Hugo Dijkgraaf said: “A summer of activity topped off with the start of drilling on the key Dvalin project is a potent sign of the belief we have in Norway, and the resources we are prepared to invest to reach our ambitions.

“The Dvalin team has worked tirelessly from day one to deliver a smooth, timely, and most of all safe project to date.”

The Dvalin gas field development includes four subsea wells which are tied back to the Heidrun host platform.

All gas recovered from the site will be transported to the Heidrun platform through a 15km pipeline and subsequently to the Polarled gas transportation through a 7.5km pipeline.

The Dvalin gas field, situated around 259km north of Kristiansund in 400m water depth, is estimated to contain 113.3 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Wintershall Dea operates the field with a 55% stake, while Petoro and Edison hold 35% and 10% stakes respectively.