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Esso Norge Balder Field Devlopment Greenlighted

Esso Norge AS won government approval for its plan to develop the Balder field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Esso Norge is the operator and holds 100 percent equity in the Balder 25/11 block (PL001). Recoverable oil reserves from the development are estimated at 170 million barrels. Development costs are expected to be approximately $800 million. Balder will be developed using subsea wells tied into a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, reportedly the first dedicated installation of this type on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Crude oil will be offloaded from the production vessel and transported to market by shuttle tankers.

Drilling will start this spring and production will commence in early 1997.

Esso Norge purchased the production vessel SPU380, currently under construction at Far East Livingston Shipyard (FELS) in Singapore, from Smedvig Production Contracting KS. Installation of some of the topsides equipment will be completed at Offshore & Marine in Sandnes, Norway.

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