Equinor’s Field Life eXtension (FLX) unit has brought online the Statfjord Øst expansion project in the North Sea six months ahead of schedule, the operator announced Aug. 25.

With this project, Equinor and its partners expect to increase production from Statfjord Øst, which initially went onstream in 1994, by 26 MMboe.

Two new wells have been drilled from existing subsea templates, and three additional wells are planned. Statfjord Øst, or Statfjord East, is tied to the Statfjord C platform 5 km away on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and the project includes a modification on Statfjord C and laying of a new pipeline for gas lift to the subsea wells.

The original oil volume in place in Statfjord Øst is 410 MMboe, with a recovery rate of 58%. As a result of this project, the expected recovery rate has risen to 63%, Equinor said.

Investments increased from $281.6 million to $328.6 million, due to an additional well and higher production. Equinor said the project is expected to deliver within estimated cost, despite the inflation and weakened Norwegian krone.

“The project contributes to extending the life of Statfjord C to 2040. The profitability is high, and the value of increased production equals around NOK 20 billion at the current oil price,” Camilla Salthe, Equinor’s FLX senior vice president, said in a press release.

Equinor sanctioned the FLX project in 2020, and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy approved it in 2021.

Equinor operates Statfjord Øst with 29.25% interest on behalf of partners Petoro AS with 30%, Vår Energi ASA with 20.55%, INPEX Idemitsu Norge AS with 4.8% and Wintershall Dea Norge AS with 1.4%. Okea ASA will hold 14%, subject to government approval.