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Shorter gas line

February 11, 1999, 08:00 CET

Gas from the Gullfaks satellites will take a shortcut to the Statpipe transport system via a new export pipeline from Gullfaks A and C.

Originally due to run for 85 kilometres, this connecting link in the North Sea will now be only 32 kilometres long.

The new gas transport plan for phase II of Statoil's Gullfaks satellites development cuts investment and production costs, simplifies operation and boosts gas capacity compared with the earlier proposals.

Total costs for the new solution will be about NOK 840 million, a reduction of roughly NOK 230 million from the original concept.

All gas from the main Gullfaks field will also flow through the new line to Statpipe, which is due to be ready in February 2001.

The original plan called for lines from the A and C platforms to join at a Y junction and continue to the T junction on Statpipe in the Veslefrikk area.

Under the revised proposals, the tie-in will be accomplished with a pipeline loop from Gullfaks A to C and a "hot tap" operation on Statpipe which eliminates the need to suspend gas exports from Statfjord.

"Linking the line directly to Statpipe in a loop cuts out the need for a seabed pig trap," explains Geir Inge Mellgren, manager for the export pipeline project in Gullfaks satellites phase II.

"That makes inspection easier during the production phase because pigs can be run from platform to platform."

The phase II development focuses on gas from Gullfaks South, which was developed for oil production in phase I together with Rimfaks and Gullfaks.

These satellites lie 130 kilometres west of the Sogne Fjord and to the south and south-west of the main Gullfaks field. Gas production is due to run from 2001 to 2014.