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Reuters: BP to ramp up North Sea Valhall oilfield

Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:29AM GMT

OSLO (Reuters) – BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has filed a plan for further development of the Valhall oilfield off Norway, including planned investments of 14 billion Norwegian crowns (1.15 billion pounds), Norwegian energy officials said on Friday.

The Valhall field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea has been in operation since 1982 and produces around 70,000 barrels of oil per day. Now BP plans to build a new platform to replace three old platforms, the ministry of petroleum and energy said.

The current platforms were designed for a lifetime of 25 years, while installing the new platform will extend the life of the field to 2049, the ministry said.
 
It said the new platform was needed also because the seabed in the area is sinking.

“Investments in the project are estimated at around 14 billion crowns,” the ministry said in a statement. “The planned production start-up for the new platform is in 2010.”

The new platform will receive its power supply by cable from land, which will mean that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from production at the field will be practically eliminated, it said.

BP is operator of Valhall with a 28 percent stake. Its partners in the field, which lies 290 km offshore in the southern part of the North Sea, are Anglo-Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research), France’s Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and U.S. producer Hess (HES.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

BP operates four fields on the Norwegian continental shelf and is a partner in Shell’s Draugen field.

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