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Gas sales up

October 5, 2004, 14:10 CEST

In the 2003-04 gas year, Statoil sold just over 10 per cent more gas – including volumes from the Norwegian state’s direct financial interest (SDFI) – compared with 2002-03.

Running from 1 October to 1 October, the gas year falls into two halves, with the first period regarded as the winter season and the second as the summer. Statoil sells and markets not only its own equity gas but also SDFI gas from fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Prices in the spot market have had an interesting development during the past year. The British were particularly active buyers this summer, reports Arne Åkerlund, manager for optimising value on the Norwegian continental shelf in the Natural Gas business area.

He explains that demand for gas is traditionally higher in the winter, which increases the price. But Britain has paid the same for summer gas this year as it would in the winter season. This is due to a general upswing in energy prices and less access to gas from several producing countries.

At the opening of a new gas year on 1 October, Mr Åkerlund summarises 2003-04 sales as “higher than expected”.

Customers in Europe took 46 billion cubic metres during the year as against roughly 42 billion in 2002-03, according to preliminary figures.

These figures encompass Statoil's equity gas and volumes available to the SDFI.

The group’s Mikkel field in the Norwegian Sea, which came on stream last October, made an important contribution to the increase in sales.

So did Statoil’s Åsgard development, also in the Norwegian Sea, and the Gullfaks and Tune fields in the North Sea.

Mr Åkerlund is pleased that the group succeeded in delivering the agreed volumes despite a heavy maintenance programme on NCS platforms and at land-based gas processing plants.