Oil and gas firm Aker BP will accelerate the startup of production from Norway’s Aerfugl natural gas field, the company said Nov. 11.

In a surprise move, the company now plans to start Aerfugl production in first-half 2020, three years ahead of what had originally been billed as the field’s second phase.

Partners in the 8 billion Norwegian crown (US$875 million) project are Aker BP, Equinor, Wintershall DEA and PGNiG.

The original first phase of development, which now comes second, is meanwhile on track to start production in fourth-quarter 2020, Aker BP said in a statement.

The Aerfugl Field is among the most profitable development projects offshore Norway, with a break-even price of about $15 per barrel of oil equivalent, the company added.

The Norwegian Sea reservoir, containing some 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, will be processed via a FPSO that is already in place at the nearby Skarv Field.

The early startup was made possible by modifying the FPSO to boost its gas processing capacity, Aker BP said.