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Ormen Lange gas to go via Sleipner

December 19, 2002, 14:30 CET

Ormen Lange in the Norwegian Sea is to be developed with subsea production installations linked to land, and gas export via Statoil’s Sleipner East field in the North Sea.

The field licensees agreed this on 18 December. A formal decision will be taken with the plan for development and operation (PDO), due to be submitted to the Norwegian authorities in 2003.

“Deciding to export via Sleipner East will strengthen this field as a gas hub,” says Alv Bjørn Solheim, vice president for business development in the Troll/Sleipner business cluster.

“That gives us the flexibility to reach customers in continental Europe or the UK, and will have positive spin-offs for the field over many years to come.”

The gas will be exported with the existing Sleipner R riser platform, which is tied to continental Europe by pipeline.

Opportunities for sales to the growing UK market are also seen by the Ormen Lange partners, and a decision on this option is likely to be taken in the first quarter of 2003.

Storage in the Sleipner area to cope with seasonal variations in demand could also be possible. That could give the field an important role as a swing producer.

Ormen Lange lies in 800-1,000 metres of water, 100 kilometres off the Norwegian coast.

Its gas will be landed to a new treatment and export facility in Aukra local authority near the port of Molde, down the coast from Statoil’s existing Tjeldbergodden complex.

The field is thought to contain some 375 billion cubic metres of gas and 138 million barrels (22 million cubic metres) of condensate (light oil).

This makes Ormen Lange the largest gas development being planned for the Norwegian continental shelf.

Due to come on stream in October 2007, the field is expected to produce for 30-40 years.

The total bill for offshore development and a gas trunkline from the treatment plant to Sleipner East is put at roughly NOK 55 billion.

Norsk Hydro is the development operator, with Shell scheduled to take over in the production phase. The other licensees are Petoro, Statoil, ExxonMobil and BP.

See also the press release from Norsk Hydro.