December 17, 2019 / 11:18 AM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Eni's Vaar aims to recover 136 mln boe from Balder field off Norway

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OSLO, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Oil firm Vaar Energi, majority owned by Italy's Eni, aims to recover 136 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) from the Balder area off Norway, the company said on Tuesday, as it presented a redevelopment plan for the field.

The 19.6 billion crown ($2.14 billion) project is part of Vaar's efforts to boost its net output in Norway to over 350,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2023 from around 300,000 boepd today.

Vaar, 69.6% owned by Eni, plans to increase production from 2022 by drilling more production wells and using a refurbished floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, previously employed at Vaar's Jotun field.

"Balder is the first discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf. I'm glad to see that companies wish to invest to prolong the lifetime of Balder...," Kjell Boerge Freiberg, Norway's oil and energy minister, said.

Balder was first discovered in 1967 but only began pumping oil in 1999 when it became economically viable to do so.

Daily combined gross output from the field amounted to around 24,000 boepd during the first ten months of 2019, data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) shows.

Vaar, which operates fields, has a 90% stake in Balder, while Mime Petroleum owns 10%.

Vaar and its partners have already awarded a contract to build and install subsea systems for the Balder redevelopment project to Baker Hughes, and Ocean Installer AS.

Norwegian private equity firm HitecVision holds a 30.4% stake in Vaar Energi. ($1 = 9.1609 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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