Located about eight kilometers north of Sleipner A, Volve's recoverable reserves are put at about 60 million barrels of oil and a billion cubic meters of gas.
Plans call for the field to be developed on a stand-alone basis. But the area offers opportunities for supplementary reserves, reports Statoil project manager Einar Erfjord. The invitation to tender a production solution for Volve is due to be sent out during January.
"This marks a milestone for the project," observes Mr. Erfjord. "These tenders could form the basis for a possible decision to develop the field."
He reports that Statoil has studied various development solutions in cooperation with contractors, and the planned invitation involves an extension to such collaboration. A decision by the partners on whether to proceed with a field development depends on a contractor coming up with a cost-effective tender.
Should Volve prove commercial, a plan for development and operation could be submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in 2004.
It would then be possible to bring the field on stream in the autumn of 2005 at the earliest, with initial plans calling for six wells to be drilled.
Oil would be produced from the field installation, with associated gas piped to Statoil's Sleipner East field for processing.
Statoil has 49.6 percent of production license 046, which embraces Sleipner East and Volve. The other partners are ExxonMobil with 30.4 percent, Total 10 percent and Norsk Hydro 10 percent.
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