BP has finally brought on stream first oil from a new platform at its Valhall redevelopment project off Norway that is set to extend the lifetime of the veteran field by a further 40 years.

The British operator is now looking to build up production from the field to around 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the second half of this year after adding new facilities to boost its processing capacity to 120,000 barrels of oil and 143 million cubic feet of gas per day.

BP chief executive Bob Dudley described implementation of the so-called Greater Valhall project as a “significant milestone”, adding it had been one of the company’s “most complex field expansion projects”.

The expansion includes a new production, utilities and accommodation platform mounted on a fixed steel jacket, and an external system of bridges and walkways linking the new facility to the existing Valhall complex, which now comprises six separate manned platforms as well as two unmanned flank facilities.

The upgrade for the field has also made it the first off Norway – and in BP’s portfolio – to be powered entirely from shore, using a 294-kilometre cable from Lista, in line with a government push for electrification of offshore facilities to avoid the use of more pollutive gas turbines onboard platforms.

This would result in virtually zero carbon dioxide emissions from the revamped field in the southern North Sea, according to BP.

In addition, there is an integrated operating environment connecting onshore and offshore personnel.

“The redevelopment of this giant field over the past few years underpins a long future for Valhall. It is a further demonstration of our commitment to our business here in Norway,” said BP Norway’s managing director Rebecca Wiles.

The Valhall field, discovered in 1975, started producing in 1982 and the redevelopment is expected to prolong production to 2050.

However, extension of the field facilities has proved costly for BP with Norway’s state Budget last year revealing an 86% increase in the cost of the redevelopment project to Nkr46.7 billion ($8.5 billion), while the work has also been hit by delays.