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Divided operatorship for Gjøa

February 13, 2004, 08:00 CET

The partners in production licence 153 have unanimously resolved that Gaz de France Norge (GdFN) and Statoil will split the operatorship for the Gjøa discovery in the North Sea.

The former operator, Norsk Hydro, reached agreement with GdFN last autumn on transferring its 30 per cent holding in the find to the French company.

The licence then recommended that Statoil serves as development operator for Gjøa, with GdFN taking over in the production phase. This model has now been approved by the authorities.

“We see great value in a solution which lets us use our broad experience of picking development solutions,” says Statoil’s Alv Bjørn Solheim, vice president for business development in Exploration & Production Norway.

“At the same time, it’s interesting to collaborate with companies which bring different experience to the Norwegian continental shelf.”

Gjøa will rank as the first GdFN operatorship on the NCS, and could allow the company to build up an operations organisation in Norway.

It already cooperates with Statoil over the Snøhvit development in the Barents Sea, where the French company is a partner.

Proven in 1989, Gjøa lies in blocks 35/9 and 36/7 about 70 kilometres north of Troll. Recoverable reserves are put at 25 billion cubic metres of gas and almost 50 million barrels of oil.

Mr Solheim reports that several options are being considered in the search for a profitable development solution.

The gas could be developed with a subsea template tied back to existing infrastructure in Norway’s nearby Tampen area or on the UK continental shelf, for instance.

A production ship might then be used to recover the oil in the field.

If Gjøa is declared commercial, a plan for development and operation might be submitted in late 2005 or early 2006. Production could then start in 2008.

Apart from GdFN with 30 per cent and Statoil with 20 per cent, partners in PL 153 are Petoro with 30 per cent, Shell with 12 per cent and RWE Dea Norway with eight per cent.