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OSLO, January 9 (Itar-Tass) — The Statoil ASA oil and gas company is preparing to start implementing a new large-scale project to develop a promising deposit of hydrocarbon fuel in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea.
According to the plan which the Norwegian company presented to the Ministry of Oil and Energy on Tuesday, over 57,000 million Norwegian Krone ($10.2 billion) will be invested all in all in the development of the Aasta Hansteen (formerly known as Luva) offshore gasfield.
A SPAR-type gas production platform willl be used on the Norwegian continental shelf for the first time. Such platforms are employed for operations at great depths. The plarform will be the world's largest one. A gaspipeline, over 480 km long, is to be built to carry gas. The pipeline will link the gasfield with the receptacle terminal and the processing entperrise of the Royal Dutch Shell Company on the Nyhamna Peninsula. The construction of the PolarIce gas piipeline, which is to become an important element of the Norwegian gas transportation infrastructure, will account for almost a half of funds to be invested in implementing the project -- $4.5 billion. Statoil's partners are the American ConocoPhillips and the Norwegian OMV Norge AS which specializes predominantly in exploratory operations. The three companies' shares in the gasfield are 75, 10, and 15 percent, respectively (OMV Norge in summer last year bought out a share that earlier belonged to the ExxonMobil).
Statoil executives emphasize that the new project is unique to the company for several parameters. The Aasta Hansteen gasfield, which has been named in honour of the famous Norwegian female artist, will become the northernmost one among those being developed by the company -- it is located in the 67th degree, northern latitude. Statoil will also for the first time conduct operations at a depth of 1,300 metres in the area of the gasfield. Besides, the PolarIce is to become the world's first 900-mm pipe line laid at such a depth.
In Statoil estimates, production may be started in the third quarter of 2017 and subsequently stablilize at the level of 130,000 oil-equivalent barrels a day. The extractable reserves of gas at the deposit are estimated at 47,000 million cubic metres.
According to Norwegian Oil Minister Ola Borten Moe, the Ministry is awating the referral of the necessary documents by the other parties to the project. This done, the matter will be referred to the Storting (parliament) for consideration. The parliament is then to make a decision by sumer this year.
As of now, Statoil plans do not encounters serious resistance on the part of environmentalists. Specialists at the Norwegian nature conservation organization Bellona point out the Norwegian oil companies by now carried out much more risky projects from the viewpoint of environmental safety.