Gas line delayed

September 5, 2000, 17:00 CEST

The start-up of Statoil's newly-installed Norne and Heidrun gas pipeline system has been postponed from 1 October to 15 November.

This delay will not increase investment, but means that the licensees of the two Norwegian Sea fields must seek replacement gas.

The postponement reflects the late arrival of Saipem's Maxita crane ship from Shell's nearby Draugen field, reports project manager Arne Jacobsen. Statoil should have received this vessel in July.

Norne is due to start exporting gas in order to optimise oil production, utilising a pipeline running south for 128 kilometres to tie into Statoil's Åsgard Transport trunkline.

Heidrun gas export comprises a 39-kilometre line also tied into Åsgard Transport, which runs to the Kårstø treatment plant north of Stavanger.

Maxita is due to install modules containing safety valves at the tie-in points with the Norne production ship and the trunkline.

Weighing close to 150 tonnes, these units need to be positioned by a heavy-duty crane ship.

Including conversion work on the ship, the Norne export line has cost about NOK 1.2 billion. It is expected to carry 1 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

The Heidrun part of the system cost some NOK 334 million and should transport roughly 0,75 cubic metres annually.