A process of expansion
A new plant is taking clear shape at Statoil's Mongstad refinery and terminal near Bergen as the Vestprosess project makes steady progress.
This facility will produce propane, butane and naphtha from natural gas liquids and condensate carried to Mongstad by a new pipeline from two nearby terminals.
These are Statoil's Troll gas treatment plant at Kollsnes and the Oseberg oil pipeline facility operated by Norsk Hydro at Sture.
Vestprosess also embraces an expansion of Mongstad's capacity for upgrading crude oil into lighter products.
Work on two 60,000-cubic-metre caverns at the complex for storing propane and butane is nearing completion, reports project director Leif Solberg.
"Trenching and other preparations for pipelaying are underway along much of the route from Kollsnes to Sture, and plans call for this to be completed in July.
"And we're involved in engineering and linepipe deliveries ahead of laying the submarine line from Sture to Mongstad."
Work starts in the sea during the spring, with pipelaying in the summer. Boring of the landfall shaft at Mongstad will begin in March once a similar job for Troll Oil Pipeline II is completed.
Pulling the latter into its shaft starts in the same month, with laying from land towards the Troll C platform in the North Sea scheduled for March-April.
"The pipelines for both Vestprosess and Troll are technically demanding, with laying in water depths down to 580 metres," reports Mr Solberg.
Expansion work in the Port of Mongstad is well underway (see page 16), while preparations are being made to enlarge the refinery.
Most of the activity will take place during the four-week turnaround planned for May-June, with the facilities due to be ready in October.