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Norway-based oil and gas company Statoil, along with its partners, has commenced production at the Hyme oil field, the second of its 12 fast-track projects, located in the southern part of the Norwegian Sea.

The company said the fast-track projects, which are the discoveries made near the existing fields, will be transformed from discovery to first oil within 30 months.

Statoil Development and Production Norway (DPN) head of the "fast-track" portfolio, Halfdan Knudsen, said the field began production one month earlier than it was expected in the plan for development and operation (PDO).

"The project execution period from we decided to use Njord A as a tie-in platform and to first oil is thus slightly more than two years, which we are very pleased with," Knudsen added.

"This development will revitalise the entire area, open for further expansion and increase the production life of Njord." In June 2009, the Hyme field was discovered at Haltenbanken, about 19km north-east of the Njord A platform.

"The project will also include installation of five new risers and Njord A modifications to receive Hyme production."

The field, tied into existing infrastructure on Njord A, is expected to extend production life of the Njord field from 2015 to 2020.

At an investment of about NOK4.5bn ($788m), Statoil and its partners will develop a production well and a water injection well drilled through a subsea template with four well slots in the field.

The project will also include installation of five new risers and Njord A modifications to receive Hyme production.

An unconventional well solution, which involves the use of a multilateral well for optimal drainage of the reservoir, has been selected for Hyme due to high reservoir complexity.

Statoil Technology, Projects and Drilling (TPD) head of the fast-track and subsea project portfolio Kjetel Digre said: "The chosen optimised drainage solution increases the estimated recoverable volumes from Hyme by about 17% compared with the assumption at the basis for the PDO."

"According to recent estimates Hyme contains some 30 million barrels of recoverable reserves. With the field’s life expected to last beyond 2020, further volume increases may be expected at Njord," Digre added.

Statoil holds 35% interest in the field, while other partners in the joint venture, namely Core Energy, VNG, Faroe Petroleum, E.ON E&P and GDF Suez, hold 17.5%, 2.5%, 7.5%, 17.5% and 20% stakes, respectively.

Image: Hyme field is built with a subsea template tied into existing infrastructure on the Njord A platform. Photo courtesy of Statoil.