Gjoa Approved by Norwegian Parliament

The Norwegian Storting (parliament) has approved the Statoil-operated North Sea Gjoa field's plan for development and operation (PDO).

"This is a day to be remembered," says Tim Dodson, acting executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway (EPN).

"We are very pleased that the development is finally approved. A review by the owners of the required approval terms and conditions remains however, particularly in light of the fact that the project is economically marginal. Realization of Gjoa's reserves will give Statoil significantly increased production and returns."

The Gjoa field will be developed with a floating production platform with plans calling for it to come on stream in 2010. Gas will be sent via the UK Flags pipeline to St Fergus in Scotland. Oil will be piped to the Troll II line and further to the Statoil-operated Mongstad refinery north of Bergen.

The project has been made robust through the choice of technical development solution and by tying back the Hydro-operated Vega and Vega South fields to Gjoa. Making the project profitable has been challenging. It has therefore taken a long time to arrive at the chosen development solution, which involves the Vega fields being tied back to Gjoa.

Gjoa's main power requirements will be met from land. Plans call for this to be coordinated with electricity production from the Mongstad energy project's (EVM) combined heat and power (CHP) station.

Research work is now in its final phase before final consideration by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). Plans call for the Statoil-operated CHP station to come on stream in 2010.

Gjoa lies in blocks 35/9 and 36/7 and was proven in 1989. Reserves are estimated at 82 million barrels of oil and 40 billion cubic Meters of gas. Total Gjoa investments are estimated at NOK 27 billion in 2006 money.

Gjoa licensees are Gaz de France (30%), Petoro (30%), Statoil (20%), Shell (12%) and RWE Dea (8%).

Gaz de France will be operator during the production phase. Gjoa operations are being planned with a logistics, supply and helicopter base at Floro, north of Mongstad. Gaz de France's operations organization will be based in Stavanger.

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