Germany's Wintershall, and its licence partners Petoro and Spirit Energy, have started production at the Maria field one year ahead of schedule.
The Maria field is located approximately 20km east of the Kristin field and about 45 kilometers south of the Heidrun field. Recoverable reserves of the field are estimated around 180 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), of which the majority is oil.
Production in Norway is set to increase to more than 100,000 barrels oil equivalent per day with Maria's contribution, which was originally intended to start-up in the fourth quarter of 2018.
The expected final investment cost has also come down from at comes in at around 12 billion NOK, the project will stay more than 3 billion NOK below the original budget.
“Ahead of schedule and below budget: Maria is a major achievement for Wintershall, our partners and our suppliers. In challenging times, we have kept a clear focus on smart engineering and sharp project management. The fact that we have achieved this so quickly without incidents is a real credit to the whole team that worked so hard to make this happen,” said Martin Bachmann, Wintershall Executive Board Member for Exploration and Production in Europe and Middle East.
"Construction and installation of the subsea equipment and pipelines was completed without any major problems or delays, and this summer we drilled some of the most efficient wells in the history of the Haltenbanken area. This excellent progress would not have been possible without the cooperation of Statoil as operator on the host platforms. Maria is a role model for an outstanding cooperation between operators and suppliers," added Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall Norge managing director and until recently Maria Project Director
Wintershall Norge is the operator of the license with a 50 per cent share. Petoro has a 30 per cent share and Spirit Energy owns the remaining 20 per cent.