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Got higher wages to transfer One year waiting period is over. Wintershall has taken over the operatorship of Brage and has opened the new office where they will operate the oil field.

Blomsterdalen. This is a great day, says head of production in Wintershall Norge, Alv-Bjørn Solheim to BA. A number of customers and partners were invited to Thursday's official opening of Wintershall`s new office of on Espehaugen. Mayor Trude Drevland cut the ribbon and held an inspiring speech, according to Solheim. In his own speech he sent a big thank you to the staff for the work they have been doing since the agreement with Statoil was signed a year ago and until Wintershall took over as operator on October 1. 

The first time
This is the first time the German company is operator of a producing field on the Norwegian continental shelf. Wintershall's head office is located in Stavanger. The function of the new office in Bergen is daily operation of the Brage platform and further development of the field. Approximately 60 employees work at the office today, but there is room for about 100, says Solheim.

- We want to operate more from the office, says Solheim. In connection with the acquisition, about 100 employees have transferred from Statoil for Wintershall.


Looking towards 2030

- We had the opportunity to give an offer to 160 Statoil employees who previously worked with Brage. Two out of three said yes. We gave them a salary increase of six per cent, says Solheim.

- The platform is over 20 years old, and most of the oil in the field has been recovered. What expectations do you have?

- Our ambition is to operate Brage as long as it is economically viable. At least until 2030. Now we are talking about a lot of things we do not know much about, but generally, most fields gets extended life. That is how it works on the Norwegian shelf. We must learn more about the field, new production methods and new technology that can prolong the field`s life, he says.

Solheim says that they have two big discoveries under development, Maria in the Norwegian Sea and Skarfjell west of Sognefjorden. Both fields may be operated from Bergen, but that is not decided yet, says Mr Solheim.

Source: Bergensavisen (paper edition), October 28, 2013

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