Norway’s Equinor ASA and its partners on Nov. 22 said they would invest 14.8 billion Norwegian crowns (US$1.44 billion) in developing the Irpa gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea.

The subsea project aims to produce around 20 Bcm of natural gas for export to Europe via the Aasta Hansteen platform some 80 km (50 miles) east of Irpa, the partnership’s development plan showed.

The water depth of around 1,300 m (4,300 ft) makes Irpa, previously known as Asterix, one of the deepest finds to be developed offshore Norway and the country’s fourth producing petroleum field north of the Arctic circle.

“The Irpa development will use available processing capacity on the Hansteen platform when production gradually declines and at the same time contribute to extending the life of the Hansteen field,” Norway’s energy ministry said in a statement.

Production is expected to start in the final quarter of 2026 and last until 2039, the development plan showed. It was not immediately clear how much gas could be pumped each day at peak production.

Equinor, the field’s operator, has a 51% stake in the Irpa license, with state-owned Petoro holding 20%, Wintershall Dea 19% and Shell 10%.

(US$1 = 10.2451 Norwegian crowns)