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The Goliat FPSO. Image courtesy of Eni.

Italy’s Eni could be facing production delays at the Goliat project, the world’s first developed Arctic field, as the company waits for a green light from Norwegian regulators.

According to Reuters, the company is still waiting for permission to begin production at Goliat but expects the field to come onstream this year.

A spokesperson for the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority told the news wire that Eni must complete work at Goliat but did not provide details on what remains to be done.

“As long as that remains unfinished, the authority will not give its consent, which is required to start operations,” the spokesperson said.

Eni said in August that it expected production to start “within weeks” after two years of delays.

According to Statoil, production is now projected to start sometime in the third quarter of 2015.

“We’re in the final phase of installation. Some of this has taken longer than expected,. We will complete the remaining work in a safe and prudent way,” Eni spokesman Andreas Wulff told Reuters.

Eni, the operator of the field, has not disclosed a more specific start up timeline.

The field, set to be the northernmost producing oilfield in the world, has been plagued by cost overruns and delays.
While Eni initially expected to spend about $3.53 billion on the project that price tag has ballooned to about $5.47 billion since the field’s development plan was proposed in 2009.
The Goliat FPSO arrived at the Barents Sea field in February and is currently the largest cylindrical production and storage plant in the world, with a storage capacity of 1 million barrels.
Output at the field, located in production license 229, is expected to peak at about 3.4 million barrels of oil per year during the second year of production.
Eni holds a 65 percent stake in the field and Norway’s Statoil holds a 35 percent stake.