Kårstø expansion on time and under budget

September 29, 2005, 17:30 CEST

Capacity at the Kårstø gas treatment plant north of Stavanger has been increased, and it is now ready to process gas from the Statoil-operated Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea.

"Work on expanding this facility has been completed on schedule and within budget," reports Knut Barland, senior vice president of Statoil's processing and transport business cluster, at a press conference held by operator Gassco and Statoil at Kårstø today, 29 September.

The Kårstø expansion project (KEP2005) is ranked as one of the largest Norwegian industrial projects on land after Snøhvit in the far north. Its investment estimate in the original plan for installation and operation (PIO) was NOK 5.7 billion.

“This is the first major expansion project where we've been operator from the start of the project,” says Arnulf Østensen, vice president for technical operation at Gassco. “So we’re very proud that we, together with Statoil as the company responsible for executing the work, have finished both on schedule and within budget."

"By making maximum use of existing facilities and equipment, we've found a number of smart solutions," says Mr Barland.

He mentions four important reasons for the success of the expansion project: thorough preparations before the project started, no changes along the way, contracts entered into at the right time in terms of price, and good project execution.

The project was launched in October 2002 following a decision by the Gassled partnership which owns the bulk of Norway’s gas transport infrastructure.

Gassco is operator for the Kårstø complex and for KEP2005, while Statoil serves as technical service provider for the plant.

This development has been implemented to receive rich gas from Kristin, which is tied into the existing Åsgard Transport system by a new pipeline. The expansion increases capacity at the plant by 20 per cent, to 88 million standard cubic metres of gas per day.

A new facility to remove carbon dioxide from the sales gas has also been built as part of the KEP2005 project.

In addition, ethane production capacity at Kårstø has been boosted by more than 50 per cent to about 950,000 tonnes per year. This in turn means that the number of ship calls at the plant will increase from 575 per year to roughly 720.