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Norwegian giant Statoil ASA (STO - Analyst Report) along with its partners has brought online the Gudrun oil and gas field in the North Sea.

Gudrun is the first Statoil-operated platform to come on stream on the Norwegian Continental Shelf since 2005. new field is likely to contribute considerably to production from the Norwegian shelf. The field is expected to hold recoverable reserves of 184 million barrels of oil and gas (oil equivalent).

Discovered in 1975, Gudrun is a high temperature-high pressure field. The field’s development was long delayed for want of new drilling technology.

The company has reached a milestone with Gudrun. The field has clearly set an example on maximizing value creation and realizing new projects on the Norwegian shelf by merging new field developments with existing pipelines and facilities.

The Gudrun field development has consumed about 16.5 million man hours and a large number of suppliers from various countries. The plan for development and operation (PDO) was submitted in 2010. Gudrun was, in fact, Statoil’s only mega-project (investments over NOK 12 billion). Currently, the company has a long line of field developments operated by Statoil.

Oil and gas from Gudrun is transferred to Sleipner for processing. Thereafter, the oil is moved to Karsto and gas is transferred to Europe, all via the existing pipelines tied in to Sleipner. This allows the company to gain from earlier investments made on the Norwegian shelf. As part of the Gudrun project, alterations have also been performed on Sleipner and at Karsto.

The field is owned by Statoil with 51% interest. The other partners GDF Suez and OMV hold 25% and 24%, respectively.

Statoil carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). However, not all stocks in the oil and gas industry look as bad as Statoil. Better-ranked stocks include Valero Energy Corporation (VLO - Analyst Report), Unit Corporation (UNT - Snapshot Report) and Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP - Analyst Report), all with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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