Approval granted for the Maria field

The Maria field in the Norwegian Sea has hit another milestone after getting the green light from regulators.

The plan for development and operation (PDO) of Maria, which is in the Halten Terrace region, has now been approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

The field is scheduled to start production in 2018 and is expected to continue producing for at least 20 years, with recoverable reserves of around 180million barrels of oil equivalent.

Dag Omre, senior vice-president of Centrica Energy Norway, said: "The PDO approval is an important landmark for the Maria field. The development solution is innovative in the fact that it is utilising existing infrastructure and thereby bringing costs to a minimum. Credit to our team for work well done so far."

The Maria field will be linked via subsea infrastructure to the Kristin, Heidrun and Åsgard B production platforms. The total investment in the development is 15.3 billion NOK (£1.2 billion).

Centrica owns 20% of the production licence for the Maria field, with operator Wintershall Norge owning 50% and Petoro holding the remaining 30%.