Approval of plans for development and operation (PDO) of the Stjerne and Vigdis North-East fields means that all four of Statoil's first fast-track projects have secured the go-ahead.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has given the nod for the two fields on September 16th, after approving Hyme and Visund South PDOs in June. All four were launched in January 2010.
"Getting a green light for the first part of the portfolio represents an important milestone for us," says Halfdan Knudsen, who heads Statoil's fast-track developments off Norway.
"The concept is well established, and new candidates are being added to the list continuously. We're keeping up the pace."
Three out of four discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) have been classified as small since 2007. Most are eligible for the fast-track portfolio if they can be tied back to existing production facilities (see fact box).
Vigdis North-East is to be developed with a four-slot seabed template tied back to Snorre A, which stands about seven kilometres away.
The Snorre area of the North Sea possesses established infrastructure as well as spare processing capacity on the installations.
Oil and gas flowing from Vigdis North-East will be carried in a new pipeline to an existing template on Vigdis B and then on to Snorre A.
Earlier called Katla, Stjerne will also be developed with a four-slot subsea template. Two wells will produce, while the others are for water injection to help maintain reservoir pressure.
Oil from the field will be piped to Oseberg South, with the gas used as pressure support in Oseberg Omega North to boost output from that reservoir.
"The first four fields with approved PDOs will give us experience and allow us to stake out a continued commitment to fast-track developments," says Knudsen.