Gas from the Arctic Circle

February 7, 2001, 10:00 CET

The new gas route from the Norwegian Sea – the Norne and Heidrun gas export trunkline system – opened on 5 February for gas deliveries to the European continent.

The Statoil-operated Norne field, which lies at the 66th parallel, is the northernmost producing field on the Norwegian continental shelf. The distance to Emden in Germany, where the gas is taken over by customers, is just over 1,400 kilometres.

In a U-shape, the trunkline runs from the Norne production ship to the Åsgard Transport line and back to the Heidrun platform. The gas is conveyed through the Åsgard line to the Kårstø gas treatment plant, before being sent on through the Europipe II export line to Europe.

Arne Jacobsen who is responsible for the project, says that the collaboration on a joint system for gas exports has led to considerable savings in investments for the two groups of licensees. The concept is also expected to save on operational expenditures.

Water depths of about 400 metres has excluded the use of divers and Mr Jacobsen says that the project has adopted new technology to remotely control tie-in of pipeline and valve modules on the seabed.

The pipe system has the capacity to transport 7.6 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

Contracts to deliver gas from the two fields were made under the Troll agreements. These currently represent deliveries of about one billion cubic metres of gas annually for Norne and 750,000 million cubic metres from Heidrun.

To maintain their oil production, both fields depend on selling their gas. Sales volumes accord with requirements for gas allocation over the next few years.