UPDATE 3-Norway's energy firms plan $1.7 bln oil, gas developments

* Equinor plans NOK 6.5 bln Kristin field expansion

* Aker BP eyes NOK 8 bln Alvheim investment

* Adding petroleum resources close to existing installations (Combines Equinor and Aker BP development plans)

OSLO, June 30 (Reuters) - Equinor and Aker BP set out plans to develop four oil and gas discoveries with a total price tag of 14.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.69 billion) as part of Norway’s efforts to maximise output from its existing fields.

The Nordic nation, which began to extract oil and gas 50 years ago, believes it has still only pumped about half of its available resources and hopes near-field developments will help secure output for years to come.

In one such development, Equinor, Petoro, Eni and TotalEnergies will invest 6.5 billion crowns in two oil and gas discoveries near the Kristin gas and condensate field in the Norwegian Sea, the companies said.

The plan, which constitutes the first phase of the Kristin South project and aims to develop the Lavrans and Kristin Q discoveries, was submitted to the oil and energy ministry for approval.

The overall expected production of oil and gas from the two developments was estimated at 58.2 million barrels of oil equivalent over the field’s lifetime.

“The decision to develop the Kristin South area will generate substantial value for society and the owners,” said Arne Sigve Nylund, Equinor’s head of projects, drilling and procurement.

Production from the first three wells, two at Lavrans and one at Kristin Q, is scheduled to start in 2024. The start of production for the two last wells at Lavrans is scheduled for 2025, and additional discoveries may be included later.

Equinor operates the Kristin field and has a 55.3% stake, while Petoro has 19.6%, Eni’s Norwegian subsidiary Vaar Energi 19.1% and French TotalEnergies 6%.


Separately, Aker BP and partners ConocoPhillips and Lundin Energy will invest 8 billion Norwegian crowns ($935 million) to develop the Kobra East and Gekko oil and gas discoveries in the Alvheim area in the North Sea.

The project aims to produce around 40 million barrels of oil equivalent at a break-even price of below $30 per barrel, with production expected to start in 2024, Aker BP told the Norwegian energy ministry.

“The project is a good example of how the temporary changes to the Norwegian petroleum tax system, approved in June last year, is stimulating activity on the Norwegian shelf,” Aker BP Chief Executive Karl Johnny Hersvik said in a statement.

Norway’s parliament approved last year tax incentives to support investments in new offshore developments at a time when its key oil and gas industry was hit by a crash in oil prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aker BP holds a 65% stake in the licence containing the discoveries, while ConocoPhillips has 20% and Lundin Energy 15%.

$1 = 8.5680 Norwegian crowns Editing by Terje Solsvik, Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Elaine Hardcastle