However, new wells and innovative technology are helping to keep this development on stream from the Munin production ship until 2008.
The field has been shut down for 11 months in order to drill sidetracks in three of the five existing production wells, and it began producing again on June 9th.
Pressure build-up in the reservoir means that it currently yields more than 50,000 barrels of oil per day, but output is expected to stabilize at 10-20,000 daily barrels in coming months.
"We expect to boost the recovery factor on Lufeng from 32 percent to almost 40 percent," says Helge Hatlestad, senior vice president for the international development and production cluster.
The field has yielded more than 37 million barrels since it came on stream in December 1997. At that time, the production forecast was 25 million barrels.
Statoil has a 75 percent interest in Lufeng, while the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) holds the remaining 25 percent.
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