New gas deliveries sought

December 2, 1999, 15:30 CET

Applications to deliver gas to continental Europe have been submitted by Statoil for several Norwegian fields, both producing and under development.

Two of these submissions to Norway's Gas Supply Committee (FU) relate to the new Kvitebjørn and Mikkel fields, which lie in the North and Norwegian Seas respectively.

Kvitebjørn can commit a total volume of 48 billion cubic metres of gas from 2004, while Mikkel has reported that a total of 16-24 billion can be committed with a probable start to deliveries in 2002.

The existing Gullfaks, Sleipner and Troll fields in the North Sea and Åsgard – under development in the Norwegian Sea – have also applied to deliver additional gas volumes.

And Statoil's producing Heidrun and Norne fields in the Norwegian Sea have expressed an interest in committing gas for delivery.

Norsk Hydro's Oseberg field in the North Sea is also applying to supply additional volumes.

A total of nine Norwegian offshore licences sent the FU applications for new deliveries to continental Europe before the 1 December deadline. These can commit a total of 160 billion cubic metres of gas from 2000 and beyond.

According to Elisabeth Aarrestad, who heads the FU secretariat, total deliveries of 56 billion cubic metres are committed for the 2000 contract year. Of these, 51 billion have already been allocated, leaving commitments of just over five billion cubic metres for 2000.

A total of 410 billion cubic metres of Norwegian offshore gas has been committed but not allocated up to 2028.

Seven licences have also reported that they have volumes available which can be committed in later allocation rounds.

These are Statoil's Dagny, Saga Petroleum's Halten Bank South, Ormen Lange – to be operated by Shell, Hydro or BP Amoco – Esso's Sigyn, BP Amoco's Skarv, and Norsk Hydro's Sogn and Visund fields.

"This is in line with our expectations," says Jan M Heiberg, who chairs the FU. "The applications show that licences are competing over deliveries and that substantial volumes of gas are available for future sale."

Several of the licences have reported a desire for gas allocations based on the Troll swing model. This model involves in part that Troll would adapt its gas production to match fluctuating daily demand from buyers, while new fields can be developed to achieve stable output.

Ms Aarrestad says that the FU expects the Troll swing model to be approved by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy soon.