The partners in the Gudrun license will submit a plan for development and operation (PDO) of this North Sea discovery to the Norwegian authorities.
"The decision marks an important milestone in the continued development of this part of the Norwegian continental shelf," said Oystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway at field operator Statoil.
"We're pleased that work will now begin on recovering Gudrun's assets," he added.
A unanimous license partnership has approved the submission of the PDO and the award of the first major contract, covering construction of a steel jacket for the production platform.
Investment in field installations, pipelines and drilling of production wells will total almost NOK 21 billion (US $3.56 billion) in money of the day. Plans call for Gudrun to be developed with a platform for partial processing and export of the field's oil and gas.
The platform will rest on a traditional steel jacket weighing 7,100 tonnes, to be built by Aker Solutions under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
Worth about NOK 450 million, this job has been awarded after an international tendering process based on technical and commercial criteria.
The work will primarily be done in Aker Verdal.
Invitations to tender will be issued in the near future, with the contracts due to be awarded at a later date.
Basis for further development
Gudrun contains some 132 million barrels of oil equivalent, with crude accounting for about two-thirds of the amount. High reservoir pressure and temperature call for special technology.
Statoil has already developed and implemented such solutions, not least on its Kvitebjørn and Kristin projects in other parts of the NCS.
"Gudrun was originally discovered in 1974," Michelsen noted. "Today's solution builds on the availability of tested technology for high pressure and temperature fields."
"It also utilizes spare capacity in existing infrastructure. And the platform and transport solution adopted here provides a good basis for developing other oil and gas fields in the area," he said.
Gudrun in brief
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