Norwegian energy giant Equinor and its project partners have agreed to stump up £175 million for another three wells on the Fram field.
Equinor, formerly Statoil, said the investment would almost double remaining reserves on Fram, in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
Equinor’s Fram field is not to be confused with a licence with the same name operated by Shell in the UK central North Sea.
The three wells will yield 70 million new barrels of oil and gas, thanks to higher gas processing capacity on the Troll C platform.
Last Autumn, the Fram partners pledged £92m for a new gas module on Troll C.
The installation preparations for the gas module started early in May, and the installation work on the platform will commence in June.
Start-up of the new gas module is expected in autumn 2019.
Discovered in 1990, the Fram field came on stream in 2003.
Since then, the field has produced earnings of £10bn.
The field was originally expected to last until 2023, but the new wells will extend its life out to 2030 and possibly beyond.
Drilling of the three wells will commence around the end of this year and take around 12 months.
Equinor’s Gunnar Nakken, who is head of the operations west cluster, said “The investments open up new possibilities in the Fram area. When the gas module is ready, we will be able to accelerate the recovery rate in the Fram area.
“Since we will reuse our subsea installations we will curb costs and thereby achieve high project profitability.”
Licence partners include operator Equinor (45%), ExxonMobil (25%), Neptune Energy AS (15%) and Idemitsu Petroleum (15%).