Gas research deal extended

November 6, 1998, 08:00 CET

A gas research programme linking Statoil with partners in Germany and Norway is to be extended for another three years from 1 January 1999.

Initiated in 1995, this partnership forms part of the group's efforts to build up its gas expertise in a changing market.

The renewal agreement is due to be signed before the end of 1998 with Germany's Verbundnetz Gas (VNG), the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of Freiburg in Germany.

"This cooperation has given us access to expertise we didn't have in-house," says Svein Birger Thaule, one of the driving forces behind the programme, in a comment on experience so far.

Statoil and VNG have each made an annual contribution of DEM 250,000 to the work, and this level of funding is set to continue for the next three years.

The partnership has been fruitful, says Mr Thaule. Apart from funding 18 postgraduate students, it has increased the group's know-how on gas storage in rock caverns

Better knowledge of ultrasonic meters also means that big savings can be achieved by using such devices rather than traditional equipment to measure the large volumes of Norwegian gas flowing to continental Europe.

Payments from gas buyers are now increasingly calculated on the basis of ultrasonic signals which meter the gas volume transported through offshore trunklines.

"When such massive amounts of gas are delivered every day, a further improvement in metering accuracy will pay off because customers receive invoices calculated on the best possible basis," says Mr Thaule.

He adds that the collaboration has given everyone involved greater insights into factors causing inaccurate gas measurement, which will allow better solutions to be developed.

"This technology lies at the interface between us as a gas seller and VNG as a buyer," Mr Thaule notes.

The new three-year agreement will also cover an exchange of personnel between the German company and Statoil.