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Girassol on stream

December 6, 2001, 13:15 CET

Oil production has begun from the world’s largest deepwater field, Girassol off Angola, in which Statoil has a 13.33 per cent interest.

The start-up of the development, which lies in 1,350 metres of water in Angolan block 17, has been confirmed by operator TotalFinaElf.

“This represents our first oil from Africa, and means that our international business has taken a major step forward,” says Ottar Rekdal.

He is head of the international business support unit in Statoil's International Exploration & Production business area.

Mr Rekdal adds that participation in this project has boosted Statoil’s deepwater expertise and competitiveness in relation to future assignments, both off Norway and internationally.

The group has interests in three blocks off Angola, and believes the region offers great opportunities for growth.

Girassol is initially producing from two wells tied back to the world’s largest production ship, which has a storage capacity of two million barrels.

Currently totalling about 40,000 barrels, daily production is set to rise to 120,000 barrels in early January. The operator expects the field to reach a plateau output of 200,000 daily barrels in mid-2002.

Before Girassol came on stream, Statoil was producing about 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from operations outside Norway.

In the prospectus issued in connection with this summer’s initial public offering, Statoil expected its daily international output to contribute at least 120,000 barrels of oil equivalent in 2004.