LNG ships help the environment

July 2, 2001, 01:00 CEST

Statoil ASA is to be the first operator on the Norwegian continental shelf to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) instead of diesel to fuel two new supply ships. This will provide major environmental gains.

Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will be cut by 85 per cent compared with conventional diesel-driven operations. In other words, annual emissions of NOx will be reduced by 420 tonnes.

Based on the wish expressed by Norwegian authorities to encourage an increased use of natural gas, and Statoil's desire to adopt good environmental solutions, an agreement has been formed between these parties. The agreement will ensure that emission reductions achieved can be credited to Statoil-operated land facilities along the Norwegian coast, where NOx reductions cost much more.

The cost of cutting NOx emissions by using natural gas instead of diesel on the two ships will be about NOK 25 per kilo NOx. In comparison, similar facilities on land would cost several times this amount.

The ships which are contracted from Eidesvik and Møkster Shipping, will be built in Norway and will start operating in 2003. They will be operated from the Coast Centre Base near Bergen and will supply oil and gas installations in the Tampen area of the North Sea.

This is the first time that LNG-run ships are available on the market. Eidesvik and Møkster have collaborated on their development. Safety requirements set are just as stringent as those for traditional solutions.

Naturgass Vest will provide the ships with LNG. On the basis of these supplies, the company will start production of the fuel at Kollsnes near Bergen with an associated distribution system.

Comments:

Olav Akselsen, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy:

"The decision to build LNG ships with associated frame conditions will without a doubt provide profitable gains for the environment. The government wants to contribute to an increased use of gas in Norway. The goal is to get larger sections of coastal shipping and ferries, public transport and others to adopt natural gas. This will help Norway to meet its commitments to the Gothenburg Protocol in a cost-effective manner."

Olav Fjell, chief executive in Statoil:

"Statoil wishes to promote a development where it pays to choose environment-friendly solutions without weakening competitiveness. We are very pleased with this solution and the experience we will gain from it. The agreement with the authorities will give us the opportunity to implement cost-effective NOx measures, while making room for industrial development and value creation based on gas in Norway."

Contact persons:

Ministry of Petroleum and Energy

Sissel Edvardsen, head of information

Tel +47 22 24 61 09 / 901 97 382

Statoil

Wenche Skorge, vice president for public affairs

Tel +47 51 99 79 17 / 918 70 741

Eidesvik AS

Nils Himle, administration director

Tel +47 53 42 45 00 / 951 01 973

Naturgass Vest

Aksel Skjervheim, managing director

Tel +47 55 21 41 74 / 958 68 60