Europipe II on stream
The official start to Statoil's Europipe II gas trunkline today, 1 October, marks the kick-off for a 1996 sales contract with Germany's Ruhrgas.
Annual Norwegian deliveries under this deal are due to run at one billion cubic metres until October 2008, and at three billion cubic metres from that date until 2025.
Bringing Europipe II into operation also boosts daily delivery capacity for Norwegian gas to Germany through the two Europipe systems from 50 to 115 million cubic metres.
A total of 35.6 million cubic metres of gas per day will flow through the new transport facility during its first operating year. Within a few years, however, this volume will have increased to 65 million cubic metres.
The construction project was brought in on schedule after a number of delays were made up earlier this year. It involved a total of six million working hours, the equivalent of 3,000 work-years.
Europipe II is one of nine Statoil-operated pipeline projects being pursued during this year's record laying season, which covers no less than 1,187 kilometres of pipe.This length of line corresponds to the distance by road from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to the Austrian capital of Vienna.
Bringing the new line into operation strengthens Statoil's role as operator of the world's most extensive system of submarine pipelines for transporting gas.
The group now operates Statpipe, Zeepipe, Haltenpipe and Franpipe (earlier NorFra) trunklines as well as the Europipe systems. In addition comes the Åsgard Transport line, which is currently under construction by the group.
Concluded in November 1996, the deal involves five sellers. These are the companies represented in the Norwegian Gas Negotiating Committee - Statoil, Norsk Hydro and Saga Petroleum - as well as Shell and Total.
In addition to this new contract, gas deliveries under a number of earlier agreements with Ruhrgas and Transgas will be transferred to the new trunkline.