Wintershall and its partners Petoro and Centrica have been given the green light by Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for their plan for development and operation for the Maria (SEN, 32/8) Field, offshore Norway.

Maria will be developed with two subsea templates tied back to several host installations in the area.

The Maria reservoir will be linked via a subsea tieback to the Kristin, Heidrun and Åsgard B production platforms. The Maria wellstream will go to the Kristin platform for processing while supply of water for injection into the reservoir will come from the Heidrun platform and lift gas will be provided from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans D Field subsea template.

Processed oil will be shipped to the Åsgard Field for storage and offloading to shuttle tankers. Gas will be exported via the Åsgard Transport System to Kårstø.

A significant number of contracts already have been awarded for the Maria project, notably the subsea production system to FMC Kongsberg and the contract for pipeline and subsea construction to Subsea 7.

Odfjell will carry out drilling on the project with the Deepsea Stavanger semisubmersible, which will drill six wells starting in April 2017.

“This is another important landmark for Wintershall in Norway. In a challenging oil price environment, we are moving ahead with the execution of this key development project. Through Maria, we are investing in one of our core international regions, which demonstrates our commitment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,” said Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall Maria project director.

“By developing this innovative solution that utilises existing infrastructure in the Norwegian Sea, we are strengthening our position as a subsea operator and generating substantial value for the partnership and the whole supply chain,” Dijkgraaf said.

Investments in the Maria development are estimated at about $1.86 billion, including development drilling.

Recoverable reserves on the field are estimated at about 180 MMboe, of which the majority is oil. The planned production startup for Maria is in 2018.

The Maria Field is located about 20 km east of the Kristin (32/11) Field and about 45 km south of the Heidrun (32/4) Field in the Halten Terrace in the Norwegian Sea.