Statoil Plans to Bring Six Fields Onstream in 2003

Statoil plans to commence production from six new oil and gas fields during 2003 to try and meet Europe's increasing demand for energy. "We'll have six new fields operating in Norway, Britain and Angola by the end of 2003," Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president of exploration and production for Norway at Statoil, said at a news conference.

Three fields, Mikkel, Fram Vest and Vigdis extension, located on the Norwegian continental shelf should come on stream in the fall of this year. The Jasmin and Xikomba fields in Angola are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2003. The Caledonia field in the UK sector of the North Sea began operations earlier this month.

Statoil hopes to double its gas sales to Britain to 20 million cubic meters by 2015 by building a pipeline to the UK which is expected to become a net importer of gas by 2005 as domestic North Sea gas fields decline. Carlsen said that although oil and gas production was expected to fall in 2003, output would rise again in 2004 and help boost sales to Europe.

The Mikkel field in which Statoil holds 41.2 percent, is expected to reach peak production at around 53,400 boe per day in 2004 while Fram Vest in which Statoil has 20 percent, is forecast to run at top capacity of 60,000 boe by 2005. Statoil holds 28.22 percent in the Vigdis extension which would be operating at maximum output of 46,100 boe by 2004 and 21.32 percent in Caledonia which is set for peak production at 6,100 boe by 2004.

The Angolan fields are both expected to be at full capacity of 45,100 boe and 60,150 boe in 2004. Statoil holds a 13.3 percent stake in each.