Pipeline agreement

October 2, 1998, 14:15 CEST

A tariff and transport deal has been agreed by the owners of Norway's gas pipelines to continental Europe.

The 11 companies with interests in the Zeepipe, Europipe I and II, NorFra, the Ekofisk bypass and the lean gas section of Statpipe have been negotiating the agreement since January.

Statoil announced the deal - formally a 'commercial arrangement' for these transport systems - at a press conference this morning, 2 October.

"The agreement will reduce possible conflicts of interest between owners and users of the gas trunklines, and make it simpler to achieve optimal delivery solutions to Europe," says chief negotiator Kurt Georgsen in Natural Gas Marketing & Supply.

A deal became necessary after the Norwegian authorities declined last year to approve the GasLed partnership, which was to coordinate company interests in the pipeline systems.

The owners involved are Norsk Hydro, Saga Petroleum, Shell, Esso, Elf, Total, Mobil, Conoco, Agip and Neste as well as Statoil.

Allocating future gas supplies to fields will be simplified by the new agreement, Statoil believes. It should also help to ensure that gas is transported as cost-effectively as possible.