The project is located around 5-15km southwest of the Gullfaks A platform and in water depth of around 135m, 3200m below the seabed.

According to Statoil estimates, the field has recoverable reserves of approximately 80 million barrels of oil equivalent, mostly gas.

The project cost has been reduced from planned NOK4.8bn ($517.2m) to NOK3.7bn ($398.6m) for development and operation.

Statoil project development senior vice-president Torger Rød said: "Over time we have focused on reducing costs and raising the profitability of our projects to ensure long-term activity and value creation on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

“Based on a smart concept using standard solutions and existing infrastructure, Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen strongly proves that we are on the right track to succeed on this work.”

The Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen development involves a standard subsea template with two gas production wells with potential for tie-in of two more wells.

Statoil operates the project with 51% stake while Petoro and OMV own 30% and 19% interests respectively.

Statoil development and production Norway executive vice-president Arne Sigve Nylund said: “We have a well-developed infrastructure and we will keep realising opportunities in the North Sea.

"This development leads to more production, improved value creation and higher activity level on Gullfaks, and also throughout the value chain related to the field.”

Statoil said that the field is expected to contribute to its plan to maintain production and a high activity level on the NCS beyond 2030.

Image: Illustration of Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen field development project. Photo: courtesy of Statoil.