Production from the field has been reduced since December 2006 to ensure justifiable drilling of the remaining wells. The operation's complexity and adaptation of necessary new technology has led to an extension of the drilling program and resulted in further pressure fall in the reservoir.
In order to prevent an additional fall in pressure and thereby maintain safe operations, and to facilitate the drilling of more wells to secure reserves and the future production level, the operator has decided to shut down the field as of 1 May. It is expected that production will commence during the fourth quarter of 2007.
Statoil will meet its commitments to its gas customers during this period.
Production capacity at Kvitebjorn is 190,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
The Kvitebjorn licensees are Statoil (43.55%), Petoro (30%), Hydro (15%), Shell (6.45%) and Total (5%).
The temporary shut-down at Kvitebjorn means that Statoil will not reach its previously communicated production target for 2007. The company will announce a new production forecast during the week commencing May 7th.
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