Equinor and its partners have agreed to invest NOK3bn ($345m) in Statfjord Øst field in the North Sea to improve recovery by 23 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Statfjord Øst is tied back to the Statfjord C platform by pipelines. Equinor plans to drill four new wells from the existing subsea templates. The work will also include modifications on Statfjord C and a new pipeline for gas lift.

According to Equinor, the decision will improve the recovery factor on Statfjord Øst and can contribute to extending the life of the Statfjord C platform and the Statfjord Øst field till 2040.

The original volume at Statfjord Øst was 415 million barrels of oil and the current recovery factor is 56%. With the recovery project, the expected recovery factor is expected to increase to 62%, the company said.

The company had also submitted a written notification of material changes to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Equinor Field Life eXtension (FLX) senior vice president Kjetil Hove said: “The decision to improve recovery on Statfjord Øst will add considerable value to society and owners and will create positive effects for suppliers.

“Our ambition is to maintain safe and profitable production and secure valuable activity from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) for several decades.

“We will be a leading late-life operator on the NCS. In order to achieve this, we must work in new ways to reduce costs, thereby offering new opportunities for investments in late life fields ensuring profitable reservoir management. The Statfjord Øst decision is a good example of this.”

Drilling of new wells will take place between 2022 and 2024, while the production is expected to start in 2024.

The Statfjord Øst development includes subsea installations with three templates. The field is located 5km north-east of Statfjord C and it came on stream in 1994.

The licence partners in Statfjord Øst include Equinor Energy (31.6875% stake), Petoro (30% stake), Vår Petoro Energi (20.55% stake), Spirit Energy Norway (11.5625% stake), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (4.8% stake) and Wintershall Dea Norge (1.4% stake).