BG Group has received approval to begin a second drilling program on its Armada field in the North Sea. This drilling program is designed to maximize production, which is currently at 450 MMcfd, and extend the field's life till 2010. Santa Fe's jackup, Galaxy III, is scheduled to begin drilling the first of two wells early next week. A third may be drilled, depending on the results of the first two. The program follows successful reservoir and well performance in Phase 1. BG first produced gas from the Armada field in October 1997. The three Armada fields are comprised of Fleming, Drake and Hawkins and extend over 31 sq km on exploration block 22/5b. Gas is exported via the CATS pipeline to Teeside, with liquids transported through the Forties Pipeline System to Cruden Bay. BG is the operator and holds a 45.27% interest in Armada. Other partners in Armada are BP with 18.20%, TotalFinaElf Exploration Ltd. with 12.53%, Phillips Petroleum Co.UK Ltd. with 11.45%, Yorkshire Energy Ltd. with 6.97%, and Agip (UK) Ltd. with the remaining 5.58%.