Statoil confirms North Sea field now on stream

The North Sea Gjoea field has come on stream, opening the way for more oil and gas activities in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea, energy company Statoil said yesterday.

The Gjoea field, which holds recoverable reserves of 40bn cubic metres of gas and 82m barrels of oil and condensate, is expected to become a centre to which other smaller, satellite fields could be tied.

Oil and gas discoveries off Norway are generally smaller than in past decades, increasing the need for fields to be tied-in to others. The oil output of the world’s fifth-largest exporter peaked in 2001, It exported 2.13m of barrels of oil per day in 2009, down 31 per cent from its peak as many oilfields mature. “We envisage that [the] facilities can make this field a hub for developments in this area,” said Oeystein Michelsen, Statoil’s head of exploration and production in Norway.

Gjoea, which is expected to produce oil and gas for at least 15 years, is coming on stream just as gas demand in Europe enters its peak winter period.

In October, British energy network operator National Grid increased its UK winter gas supply forecast from Norway because of the approaching start-up of the Gjoea field.