Gas allocation for Kvitebjørn
Gas from the Kvitebjørn field being developed by Statoil in the North Sea will help to meet Norway's sales commitments from 2004.
Taken by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, this decision accords with the group's recommendation to the advisory Gas Supply Committee (FU).
The allocation means that Kvitebjørn gas is assured of a sales outlet from the autumn of 2004 until 2014, reports Morten Nesvik, business development manager for the project.
At the same time, it commits the field licensees to deliver a total volume of 49 billion cubic metres during the period.
Mr Nesvik adds that Kvitebjørn's profitability has improved since the plan for development and operation was originally submitted.
"As a result of the gas allocation, we can produce at plateau – in other words, 6.5 billion cubic metres per year – until 2009. That's in line with the platform's design capacity."
Kvitebjørn is one of 10 Norwegian offshore licences which applied to the FU for allocation to a gas sales contract last December.
These 10 can undertake to deliver 710 billion cubic metres of gas from 2000, with Troll accounting for 80 per cent of the total.
Only Kvitebjørn has been offered an allocation this time round. However, the ministry has asked the FU to make a new assessment by 1 September of allocation needs for projects which depend on getting under way by a specific time.
A total of 1,460 billion cubic metres of Norwegian gas has been committed under sales deals with European customers from the 1999 contract year to 2029.
Following the allocation to Kvitebjørn, fields capable of delivering 1,110 billion cubic metres have so far been nominated to supply these contracts.