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Zeepipe shut down

April 17, 2001, 12:00 CEST

The Zeepipe trunkline operated by Statoil to carry gas from Norwegian fields to Zeebrugge in Belgium was shut down on 14 April following a minor gas leak.

This escape occurred through a valve on an unstaffed riser platform tied to Statoil’s Sleipner A installation, and the line had to be closed before repairs could be carried out.

“We expect it to take about two weeks from the shutdown to resume gas transport through Zeepipe,” says Terje Faae, vice president for the transport network unit in European Gas.

He adds that safety on the installations was not threatened at any time.

During the shutdown, customers for Zeepipe gas are being offered supplies from alternative landfalls in Germany and France.

Roughly 20 per cent of Norwegian gas exports, which are expected to reach 56.8 billion cubic metres this year, flow through the 814-kilometre trunkline.

Zeepipe began operation in 1993, and is one of five transport systems which carry natural gas from the Norwegian continental shelf to continental Europe.

Statoil has a 15 per cent interest in the line. The state’s direct financial interest (SDFI) holds 55 per cent, Norsk Hydro 11 per cent, Shell seven per cent, ExxonMobil six per cent, TotalFinaElf 4.6 per cent and Conoco 1.4 per cent.