Gas deliveries unchanged next year
Norwegian gas deliveries to continental Europe in the next gas year will be roughly on a par with sales for 1997-98.
Statoil and its partners are due to deliver some 47 billion cubic metres of gas to European buyers during the year, which begins on 1 October.
This figure includes exports from the Ekofisk field. Excluding those volumes, deliveries will be around 40 billion cubic metres - about the same as in 1998.
Declining quantities from Statfjord, Heimdal and Gullfaks under field depletion contracts help to explain why deliveries will not expand significantly. Supply contracts for Troll and the Sleipner fields also remain in the build-up phase.
The NorFra gas trunkline, which will be officially inaugurated on 9 October, gives Statoil the opportunity to deliver gas directly to France.
A new delivery point at the trunkline terminal in Dunkerque also gives the group increased flexibility in the transport network to European customers.
Delivery contracts for the new gas year cover Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Spain and the Czech Republic as well as the UK.
Customers order their gas on a daily basis and are entitled to swing between maximum and minimum levels.
Apart from NorFra, Statoil's Europipe I and Zeepipe trunklines and Phillips Petroleum's Norpipe facility transport Norwegian gas to continental Europe.
Opening the new route to Dunkerque has increased gas pipeline capacity from 55.5 billion cubic metres per year to 85 billion.