When this discovery came on stream in 1997 from a production ship and five subsea templates, it was expected to operate until 2016.
Today's increased level of activity and greater knowledge of the area means that the vessel is likely to stay in business until around 2020.
"A lot of exploration is planned for the Norne area," notes Jostein Gaasemyr, who is operations vice president for the field.
"What we know so far means that activity will be extended both offshore and on land. We're heading for an exciting time."
The Norne ship is one of the most profitable installations on the Norwegian continental shelf, with low development costs and high production.
Urd was tied back to the vessel as a satellite last year, strengthening capacity utilization both for the ship and for its associated infrastructure.
An additional subsea template was also installed in 2005 in order to improve recovery from the main field.
Further development of the surrounding area is attracting great interest, with oil proven in the Linerle and Falk structures two years ago.
Two exploration wells are due to be drilled this summer on the Valkyrie structure just over 30 kilometers to the north-east of Norne.
Further discoveries could strengthen prospects for an independent development solution, with a platform supplementing the existing production ship.
Gas was also proven in 1990 in Alve, 16 kilometers south-west of Norne. A new well is due to be drilled this autumn to see whether more resources might be found deeper in the formations.
That well will also be used as a producer tied back to Norne for the existing discovery, with gas set to start flowing in October 2008.
The intention is to submit a plan for development and operation (PDO) of Alve to the Norwegian authorities by the end of October this year.
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