Norsk Hydro Gets Approval for Vilje Development Plan

The plan for developing and operating (PDO) the Vilje field in the North Sea was approved Friday by Norway's Ministry of Petroleum & Energy.

The Vilje field lies north of the Heimdal field and will be developed with two subsea installations on the seabed. The field's wellstream will be transported through a new 19 kilometer long pipeline to a production ship on the Alvheim field.

"The Vilje development increases oil and gas recovery in an area in the Norwegian offshore sector where petroleum activities have been ongoing for many years. This means that Vilje can use existing infrastructure in the area. It is also a good example of a project progressing quickly from find to an approved development plan," petroleum and energy minister, Thorhild Widvey, said.

Planned production on Vilje is set to start in February 2007, the same time as the start up of the Marathon-operated Alvheim field.

Recoverable reserves on Vilje are estimated at about 50 million barrels of oil and 0.4 billion standard cubic meters natural gas.

The field was proven in September 2003 and work to drill the production wells will start in February 2006. Total development investments are estimated at about NOK 2.1 billion (EUR 258 million/USD 343 million). The field's economically productive lifetime is expected to last until 2022.

Partners on the Vilje field are Norsk Hydro as operator with 28.853%; marathon with 46.094% and Total with the remaining 24.243%.

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