Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre, Image courtesy of Harald Pettersen/Statoil.

Norway’s Statoil gave the go ahead Friday to develop the giant Johan Sverdrup field despite disagreements over ownership stakes with fellow Norwegian upstream Det norske.

Production at the $29 billion North Sea field is expected to start by 2019 and has a projected break even point of under $40 per barrel.

The field is expected to produce up to 3 billion barrels of oil equivalents over 50 years.

Operating costs are projected to be under $5 per barrel once the project gets off the ground.

The first phase of production will cost $15.4 billion and will develop up to 2.4 billion boe, Reuters said.

The field was discovered by Sweden-based Lundin Petroleum along with Statoil in 2010.

Statoil submitted a plan to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate this week asking for a 40 percent share of the project, the Wall Street Journal said.

The proposed development plan calls for Lundin to hold a 22 percent stake, Norway’s Petoro to hold an 18 percent stake, Det norske to hold a 12 percent stake and Denmark-based Maersk Oil to hold an 8 percent stake.

“When it proved impossible to reach an agreement about this with the partnership, we find ourselves in a position where we cannot sign an agreement,” Det norske CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate will determine the final allocation of stakes in the project.

Johan Sverdrup holds an estimated 1.7 billion to 3 billion barrels of oil.

The project is expected to win final government approval later this year.


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