Kårstø caverns in use
The first of two new rock cavern stores at Statoil's Kårstø gas treatment plant north of Stavanger transferred its first cargo to a ship on 12 May.
Part of the expansion programme at this facility to handle gas from Åsgard in the Norwegian Sea, cavern B is also being readied for loading ships.
The first propane cargo from the Kårstø development project totalled 10,000 tonnes and was consigned to Antwerp. Two further vessels have since loaded the liquefied petroleum gas from cavern A.
"Loading went well, although a slight excess pressure meant that the propane was on the warm side," reports Knut Otto Dahl, who is responsible for starting up the off-site facilities at the plant.
"We're making constant adjustments and can see that things are going in the right direction."
The operations department is working to cool down the caverns, which provide 125,000 and 150,000 cubic metres of space respectively.
It will take several years before the initial temperature of the bedrock has been brought down to the right level.