October 3, 2016 / 12:02 PM / 2 years ago

Russian Fridman's DEA in $1.3 billion Norway gas field development

OSLO, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Oil and gas firm DEA, controlled by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, will invest 10 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.26 billion) together with three partners to develop Norway’s Dvalin natural gas field, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The field development had previously been postponed while the owners sought to cut the cost amid low crude prices.

The Norwegian Sea field, formerly known as Zidane, is expected to produce 18.2 billion cubic metres of natural gas and first output is expected in 2020, the firm said on Monday, as it handed in the development plan to Norwegian authorities.

“Over the last few years we have managed to reduce cost by more than 20 percent,” Hans-Hermann Andreae, DEA Norway chief said in a statement. Fridman’s investment vehicle LetterOne controls DEA, which operates the field.

Austria’s OMV currently has a 20 percent stake in the licence but has entered into a deal to sell its stake to Norway’s state-owned Petoro.

The other partners are Maersk Oil, the energy arm of shipping giant A.P. Moeller Maersk and Edison of Italy.

New investments offshore have sharply declined as oil firms look to restrict spending amid the slump in oil prices.

Investment in the Norwegian oil sector, a key driver of economic activity, will fall to 150.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($18.90 billion) in 2017 from 163.5 billion crowns this year, according to forecasts compiled by Statistics Norway.

$1 = 7.9619 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Stine Jacobsen

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