STAVANGER, Norway – Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has sanctioned ExxonMobil to further develop the Balder field in the central Norwegian North Sea.
Balder was the first oil field discovered offshore Norway, in 1967, but did not go forward for development until the mid-1990s. Production started in 1999, with Esso (ExxonMobil) as operator and sole licensee.
The field, around 213 km (132 mi) west of Stavanger, has been developed via subsea facilities tied back to an FPSO in 125 m (410 ft) water depth.
Under the new program, the semisubmersible West Alpha will drill and complete new production wells, plug others no longer in use, and install new subsea equipment.