Hydro Gets Approval for Fram ěst Development Plan

The Plan for Development and Production (PDO) of the Fram ěst field in the North Sea was approved Friday by the Norwegian government.

Fram ěst is located some 20 kilometers north of the Troll C platform and will be developed as a subsea satellite field.

The development will begin in early June when two well templates are installed on the seabed. Production start is scheduled to begin October 31, 2006.

In a press release, Norway's Petroleum & Energy minister, Thorhild Widvey, expressed delight that the oil companies are working actively to develop new and relatively small oil finds.

"Despite the fact most new finds being developed are smaller than before, the total of new development projects is increasing. I look very positively on decisions to recover smaller deposits that contribute to the more complete development of mature areas," she said.

The development plan puts Fram ěst's recoverable reserves at 60 million barrels of oil and 2.9 billion cubic meters of gas.

"We support rapid development of Fram ěst and are satisfied to now have the plan approved," said Johan Kr. Mikkelsen, who heads up the Troll business unit in Oil & Energy.

Investments in Fram ěst are estimated at NOK 2.4 billion for field development, while the drilling program comes to NOK 1.4 billion. When interest on capital, insurance and project reserve costs are included, investments are estimated to run approximately NOK 4.6 billion.

Partners on the Fram field are Hydro as operator with 25%; ExxonMobil with 25%; Statoil with 20%; Gaz de France with 15% and Idemitsu with 15%.

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