Aker BP and its partners Equinor and Spirit Energy have sanctioned the development of the Hanz oil and gas project in licence 028 B in the Norwegian North Sea with an investment of NOK3.3bn ($370m).

The Hanz discovery will be tied into the Ivar Aasen platform, located nearly 12km further south. The Ivar Aasen field, which is operated by Aker BP, has been producing since late 2016.

The plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Ivar Aasen field also included the concept for development of the Hanz discovery.

Aker BP expects to begin production from the Hanz oil and gas project in the first half of 2024.

The company and its partners aim to unlock nearly 20 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) of reserves estimated to be in place in the North Sea discovery.

Contained in a water depth of 115m, Hanz was discovered in 1997. Its PDO was approved in 2013.

Aker BP operations and asset development SVP Ine Dolve said: “Over the last few years, we have matured an optimised development solution, in part through re-use of subsea production systems (SPS) from the Jette field.

“This development solution will be more cost-efficient and have a smaller environmental footprint than the original concept that was described when the PDO was first delivered.”

By using a cross-stream well for water injection, Aker BP and its partners plan to recover oil and gas from the Hanz field apart from reusing existing infrastructure. This approach will lead to a considerable decrease in power consumption, reduced use of chemicals, as well as less equipment used on the seabed, said the company.

Aker BP said that as the development solution of the Hanz oil and gas project has been changed since the submission of its PDO, the partners will send a formal statement about the investment decision and the selected concept to the Norwegian authorities.

The operator of the North Sea field is Aker BP, which holds a stake of 35%, while Equinor and Spirit Energy have stakes of 50% and 15%, respectively.