Tune gas recommended

March 23, 1999, 08:00 CET

A go-ahead for gas deliveries from Norsk Hydro's Tune field has been recommended by Norway's Gas Supply Committee (FU).

The FU also proposes that several fields already in operation should help to meet Norwegian obligations under existing gas sales contracts with European buyers.

This latest set of recommendations from the committee was submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on 19 March.

Contracts to be covered from fields proposed by FU include the Troll gas sales agreements and separate deals with Italy's Snam, Transgas in the Czech Republic and Germany's Ruhrgas.

A majority of the committee's members recommend that Tune, a satellite to Hydro's Oseberg field in the North Sea, should deliver 2.9 billion cubic metres annually from the start of production in 2002 until 2006.

Deliveries should fall to 2.5 billion cubic metres in 2007, giving a total of 17 billion cubic metres. The Tune licensees had reported a committed volume of 20 billion cubic metres to the FU.

Elf, Hydro and Phillips believe Tune should be allowed to deliver the total amount committed, while Conoco, Mobil, Shell and Total oppose letting this discovery deliver gas from the 2002 contract year. They believe other fields on stream should be given priority.

All FU members support additional gas deliveries from Statoil's Heidrun and Norne fields in 2000, and from the group's Åsgard development in 2002.

In its recommendations, the committee notes that production experience from fields in operation will provide further information. Delaying a decision on additional gas deliveries from existing fields could give an economic gain in real terms.

Volumes due for delivery in 2000-2003 which have not been allocated to a specific supply field can be covered by Troll, the Sleipner area, Oseberg, Åsgard, Heidrun and Norne.