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New operations company for Emden

December 23, 2004, 09:00 CET

A jointly-owned company has been created by Statoil and ConocoPhillips to operate two receiving terminals and a metering station for natural gas in the Emden area of northern Germany.

Called GasPort, the new partnership aims to improve efficiency at these facilities and reduce annual operating costs by 30 per cent up to 2008.

“I’m pleased we’ve found a sensible model which rationalises work at the terminals,” says Rune Bjørnson, executive vice president for Statoil’s Natural Gas business area.

He notes that it is important for the group, as a major transporter of gas from the Norwegian continental shelf, that pipelines and plants are operated as efficiently as possible.

GasPort’s president will be Elko Berents, currently the ConocoPhillips terminal manager. Terje Faae, head of the transport network and terminals at Statoil, will serve as chairman.

These two positions are due to alternate at intervals of three-five years between the two partners, which own GasPort 50-50.

ConocoPhillips will transfer 48 employees to the Statoil subsidiary in Germany, but is retaining part of the management as its own personnel.

The two companies will then hire out the necessary staff to GasPort. Statoil’s German subsidiary already has 43 permanent employees.

“We’ve arrived at a model for coordinated operation which I’m very satisfied with,” says Trond-Erik Johansen, who takes over as president of ConocoPhillips Norge at 1 January.

“We have experience of this approach from other parts of the world,” he adds.

“ConocoPhillips has run a very efficient and reliable receiving terminal in Emden since 1977. The collaboration we’ve now established takes the best from both companies.

“Viewed overall, this creates an organisation which is uniquely placed to pursue operations in an even more reliable and cost-effective manner.”

The workforce is to be downsized through natural wastage in close consultation with the employees and their unions, says Gerd Halmø. She heads all Statoil’s business operations in Germany.

Both receiving stations are owned by the Gassled partnership, with Gassco as operator, and GasPort will act on behalf of its owners as the technical service provider.

It will handle up to 165 million cubic metres of gas per day through three pipelines – Norpipe, Europipe I and Europipe II. Their capacity equals about two-thirds of German gas consumption.