Statoil has gained government approval to develop the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea off Norway after cutting costs even further on the major project in the frontier Arctic region.

Total investments on the scheme are now estimated at Nkr47.2 billion ($6 billion), with a break-even price of only $31 per barrel, down from the previous estimate of Nkr49 billion and under $35 per barrel.

The latest figures, issued by Petroleum & Energy Minister Terje Soviknes in approving the development plan on Tuesday, are less than half the original budget estimate of over Nkr100 billion and break-even price of as much as $80 per barrel that were based on an earlier different concept.