Equinor and partners on May 25 submitted a plan to develop a cluster of gas and condensate discoveries in the Norwegian Sea for 9 billion crowns ($940 million), part of a rush of new petroleum projects expected in Norway this year.

Halten East contains reserves of around 100 MMboe, 60% of which is natural gas, and is expected to begin exporting to Europe in 2025, Equinor said.

The project would develop an area with six gas and condensate discoveries, with the option of developing a further three prospects, Equinor said in a statement.

"It's an important project for the energy security in Europe because it's a lot of gas, and they can start production and delivery of gas to the European market very soon," Norwegian Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland told Reuters.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Norway introduced tax incentives for field developments introduced by the end of 2022, part of the country's bid to extend the life of its oil and gas industry for decades.

As a result, western Europe's largest petroleum producer expects to receive a large number of plans for new developments this year, including several that could contribute to gas production, such as Aker BP's NOAKA and King Lear.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, European nations have also become more interested in securing supplies from Norway, the energy minister told Reuters.

"The debate in Europe has changed a lot over the last six months," Aasland said. "When I attended the IEA [International Energy Agency] ministerial meeting in March, the question was how Europe can get enough oil and gas."

Oil service firms Aker Solutions and Technip FMC won contracts to supply much of the equipment and installation services needed, Equinor said.

Operator Equinor holds a 57.7% stake in Halten East while Vaar Energi holds 24.6%, Spirit Energy 11.8% and Norway's Petoro 5.9%.