Statoil intends to establish a new operational area on the Norwegian continental shelf, which will be based in Harstad with start-up in the first half of 2013.
Statoil is setting up a separate operational area in Northern Norway due to the considerable increase in activities taking place off the three northernmost counties in Norway.
"This will boost our presence in Northern Norway and help ensure added value from the Northern fields in the future. Ever since the merger in 2007, and the setting up of Operations North in Stjørdal, we have expressed our intention of establishing a new operational area in the North when activities and materiality justified such an industrial decision – and we are now seeing that level of activity," stated Statoil CEO Helge Lund.
Lund added that there are also expectations of further activities in Northern Norway, owing to the increase in exploration in newly opened acreage, and in areas expected to be made available to the petroleum industry; initially the Barents Sea, and subsequently areas in the north-eastern Norwegian Sea.
Increased activity in Northern Norway
To begin with the new operational area will be responsible for the already operative Norne and Snøhvit fields, as well as for the Aasta Hansteen field, for which a decision will be taken later this year. In due course the Skrugard/Havis field will also report to the new operational area, which will be managed along similar lines and carry the same executive authority as other operational areas.
Meanwhile, it is the intention to locate the Aasta Hansteen field's operational organization in Harstad, the supply base in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund. These choices have been made after consultation with the partners on the field and final decisions here will be taken in connection with the impact assessment study.
"In wishing to base the Aasta Hansteen operational organization in Harstad, we are envisaging the possibility of synergy effects obtained from a joint localization with the Norne field. A new operational organization will also boost competence and enhance the specialist milieus in Harstad," said the executive vice president for Development and Production Norway, Øystein Michelsen.
The creation of this new area of operations will entail an increase in the number of employees at the Harstad office. Once the decision on Aasta Hansteen is taken, more employees will join the new area; overall the increase is likely to amount to some 30-50 persons.
Operational area in Stjørdal
Trøndelag and Møre, including Stjørdal, Trondheim and Kristiansund will still remain important locations for Statoil's NCS activities. Haltenbanken and our fields there are – and will remain for a long time to come – a core area for Statoil. These locations will continue to be run from Stjørdal.
The creation of the new area in Harstad will not have any direct consequences for personnel working at Stjørdal in the already established operational area.
Work on the detailed planning of the new operational area in Northern Norway is now getting under way. The area will commence its operations in the course of the first half of 2013.
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