Statoil has received approval from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to develop and operate the Visund South fast-track project located 10km from the Gullfaks C and Visund A platforms in the North Sea.

Visund South comprises a template with four slots, from which three wells will be drilled and tied to Gullfaks C for processing.

The company will prepare itself for the installation of the seabed template in June so that drilling can begin in August.

Visund South will be installed on the field in conjunction with the Marulk development, which is being developed by Statoil on behalf of operator Eni.

Production from the field is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2012.