Norway gives go-ahead for Oseberg gas field expansion

OSLO (Reuters) -The Norwegian energy ministry on Thursday said it had approved operator Equinor's plan for new investments in the North Sea Oseberg petroleum fields, which will boost gas exports to Europe from 2026.

Equinor and its partners estimated that the amended development plan will increase output at Oseberg by 31.2 million cubic metres (mcm) of oil equivalent, or around 196 million barrels of oil equivalent, 87% of which will be gas.

"Most of this is gas that can be delivered to the European markets," Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland said in a statement.

The fields will also be connected to the onshore power grid, cutting CO2 emissions from Oseberg by 320,000 tonnes per year, the companies project.

The reconstruction will make Oseberg the country's third biggest gas field, after Troll and Snoehvit, measured in remaining reserves, Equinor said.

Oseberg is expected to produce 100 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas between 2022 and 2040, the company added.

Separately, the ministry also said it had approved a planned upgrade of the ConocoPhillips operated Eldfisk oil and gas field, adding resources amounting to 10.8 mcm of oil equivalent.

(Reporting by Nora Buli, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Terje Solsvik)