Norsk Hydro has been given the go-ahead to start developing two new oil and gas projects in the North Sea.
Total investments are calculated to around NOK 5 billion.
The biggest of the two projects, Fram West, located west of the Sognefjord, is expected to contain 100 million barrels of oil and 8 billion cubic metres of gas. Production is expected to start in 2003, and last until 2016.
Development costs for Fram West are calculated to NOK 4 billion, and 2,450 man-years.
This field was discovered by US Mobil in 1987, but the company was not able to find a profitable way to extract the oil, and turned the field over to Norsk Hydro.
The second project is the mini-field Vale, located a few kilometres from the Heimdal platform in the North Sea. Vale was discovered by the French company Elf in 1991, but was also turned over to Hydro.
Heimdal will now be turned into a junction for the transport of all Norwegian gas to Great Britian. This export is expected to increase substantially over the next few years. The gas from Vale will therefore be piped to Heimdal.
Vale is expected to contain 20 million barrels of crude light, and 2.5 billion cubic metres of gas. The cost of developing this field is calculated to around NOK 900 million. Production is scheduled to start in 2002.