Total SA, Europe's third-largest oil company, began production at its L4G gas field in the Dutch section of the North Sea and expects output from the field to reach 1 million cubic meters a day within a week. The production target is about 6,5 kboe/d (thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day), the Dutch unit of Paris-based Total said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. Current production at the field, located 95 kilometers (59 miles) northwest of Den Helder, Netherlands, is about 900,000 cubic meters of gas, said Jelto Terpstra, a Total Netherlands spokesman, yesterday by phone. Development of the L4G structure, which was approved in October 2004, has commenced, with production was expected to start in the first half of 2006. Total said the field's entire gas output is already sold to Gasunie Trade & Supply BV, the gas-trading venture between the Dutch state, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. Total has a 55.66% stake in the project and Energiebeheer Nederland BV, a Dutch state-owned offshore exploration and production company, has another 40%. The remainder is held by Lundin Netherlands BV, the Dutch unit of Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum AB. Total is the second largest gas operator in the Netherlands, where it has been present for nearly 40 years, with an average share of production of 51 kboe/d in 2005. Total holds 19 offshore production permits, 17 of which it operates, and two exploration permits which it operates (one offshore and one onshore). Ten development wells have been drilled over the last three years, Total wrote in a report Dec. 2005. Development of the L4G structure, which was approved in October 2004, has commenced, with production expected to start in the first half of 2006. (Bloomberg, Total.com)
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