by Daniel J. Graeber
Stavanger, Norway (UPI) Nov 30, 2016
British energy company Centrica said it made its debut in Norway with the submission of plans to develop an oil field in the southern North Sea.
Centrica, as operator, submitted development plans to the Norwegian Energy Ministry for the development of the Oda field. Working through a consortium, development calls for $630 million in investment to exploit a field with recoverable reserves estimated at 48 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 95 percent is oil.
It's Centrica's first development plan as an operator in Norway.
"We have laid down the building blocks, one-by-one, and have a good foundation for the future," Dag Omre, the company's regional general manager, said in a statement. "Norway is a priority area for Centrica's oil and gas activities and we plan to continue investing."
The development comes as the Norwegian economy struggles with the slowdown in the energy sector brought on by lower crude oil prices. The government this week reported the average salaries for those working in the oil and gas sector showed gains from the previous quarter, but less than last year.
Centrica said development of Oda could add about 5,500 jobs over its lifespan and contracts tied to the plan were expected soon. Since its discovery in 2011, the company said the cost associated with Oda have declined by about 40 percent.
"It is positive that the licensees in Oda, through excellent cooperation, have chosen a development solution that contributes to cost-efficient utilization of infrastructure in the area and available process capacity," Tove Francke, an assistant director for development at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, said in a statement.
Total production of oil and natural gas liquids for Norway is on a modest decline. Oda will be developed in part using existing infrastructure. Production is slated for 2019.
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