ENI To Start Producing From Arctic Oilfield Off Norway In A Few Weeks


OSLO, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Italian energy group ENI plans to start oil production from Norway's first Arctic oil development in a few weeks after years of delays and cost overruns.

Production from the Goliat field, estimated to hold about 174 million barrels of oil, was originally expected to start in 2013, and the latest deadline was the end of this summer.

"We had some delays due to bad weather, but we are planning to start the production in a few weeks," said Andreas Wulff, the spokesman for ENI in Norway.

When the field comes on stream, it would become the world's northernmost producing offshore oilfield, ENI has said.

The oil will be stored on a floating production platform and offloaded to shuttle tankers for exports, while the associated gas will be reinjected.

Production from the field, some 50 km southeast of the Snoehvit field, which delivers gas to Europe's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Hammerfest, is expected to peak at some 34 million barrels of oil per year during the second year of production, the company said.

The project costs surged to 46.7 billion crowns ($5.62 billion) from an original estimate of around 30 billion crowns in 2009, when the development plan was approved, but some other developments offshore Norway saw cost overruns as well.

Operator ENI has a 65 percent stake in the field, while its partner Statoil holds the remaining 35 percent.

($1 = 8.3116 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Alister Doyle and David Evans)


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