Marathon, partners to submit plan, purchase FPSO for Alvheim development

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Feb. 23 -- Marathon Oil Corp. unit Marathon Petroleum Norge AS and its Alvheim project partners plan to submit to the Norwegian regulatory authorities in early March an impact assessment for Alvheim development and a plan of development and operation by midyear.

The Alvheim area, on the Heimdal formation in the Norwegian Sea, is comprised of the Kneler and Boa discoveries on production license (PL) 203, about 140 miles from Stavanger, and the previously undeveloped Kameleon accumulation (OGJ Online, Apr. 15, 2003).

Marathon anticipates approval of the plan of development and operation by the third quarter, and expects first production in 2006.

Marathon's 2004 Norwegian exploration plan calls for two wells, one of which is in the Alvheim area.

The Alvheim group also is competing for additional area tiebacks, including the nearby Klegg discovery, in which Marathon holds a 46.9% working interest. Alvheim and Klegg are estimated to contain a combined gross risked resource of 200-250 million boe.

Marathon is Alvheim area operator, holding a 65% working interest; ConocoPhillips has 20%, and Oslo-based DNO ASA15%.

Shuttle tanker purchase
In preparation for development, the partners have signed a purchase and sale agreement with Statoil Marine KS to acquire Statoil's Odin multipurpose shuttle tanker. The sale is subject to approval of the Alvheim area development plan by the partners and by Norwegian authorities.

The group, preparing to modify the Odin once a plan of development is approved, has called for bids for various components of the vessel modification. Capacity of the double hull, 530,000-bbl vessel will increase to 560,000 after modification, Marathon said. Izar (formerly Astilleros Espanoles) built Odin in 2001 to be used as either a floating production, storage, and offloading vessel or drill ship.

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