Win-win for Norwegian gas

May 31, 2005, 16:25 CEST

The partners in Idun and Skarv in the Norwegian Sea – operated by Statoil and BP respectively – have opted to send their gas through the Åsgard Transport line to the Kårstø processing plant north of Stavanger.

This choice follows the decision to lay a new rich gas pipeline – Tampen Link – between the Norwegian and UK sectors of the North Sea.

The latter facility will run from Statoil’s Statfjord field to tie into Britain’s Far North Liquids and Gas System (Flags), which terminates in turn at St Fergus in Scotland.

“Deciding to land Skarv and Idun output at Kårstø makes it possible to continue the development of these discoveries,” says Annette Kvilhaugsvik.

She has been Statoil’s chief negotiator in the two licences, and project manager for the establishment of Tampen Link.

According to Ms Kvilhaugsvik, a win-win position has been created for the gas because spare capacity can be utilised in both Norwegian and British transport systems.

The Statfjord late life project, which will be the immediate user of Tampen Link, would have required no more than a 22-inch pipeline.

But this 23-kilometre facility is being built with a diameter of 32 inches, providing room for additional gas from the Tampen area of the North Sea.

That in turn gives Statoil and other gas owners greater flexibility in relation to transport systems and markets.

The Tampen Link line will be laid from Statfjord to Britain’s Brent field in the North Sea, where it ties into the Flags system to St Fergus.

Plans call for the new line to be laid next year and ready for operation by 1 October 2007, when Statoil will transfer the operatorship to Gassco.

Statoil’s partners in this venture are ExxonMobil, Shell, Hydro, ConocoPhillips and Petoro.

The Storting (parliament) is expected to approve the plan for installation and operation of Tampen Link and the development and operation plan for Statfjord late life in June.

Annual capacity in the Åsgard Transport pipeline to Kårstø will be upgraded by around five per cent to 26 billion cubic metres in order to accommodate gas from Skarv and Idun.

Due to come on stream in 2010, Skarv and Idun contain just over 38 and 13.5 billion cubic metres of gas respectively. Skarv also holds 92 million barrels of liquids.

Landing their production at Kårstø will fill processing capacity for natural gas liquids at this facility for a number of years to come.

Statoil’s partners are BP, Shell and ExxonMobil in Skarv, and Shell and Hydro in Idun.