OIil and gas producer Noble Energy said Equatorial Guinea's Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy had approved its plan to develop the Alen offshore condensate and natural gas project.

First production at Alen is estimated to begin by the end of 2013 at 37,500 barrels per day, with Noble's 45 percent ownership stake of the output totaling about 18,750 barrels per day.

Early engineering and design work on the project has been completed, and Noble is currently negotiating contracts for the facility construction and drilling.