Åsgard start-up uncertain

October 24, 2005, 12:00 CEST

It remains unclear when production can resume on the Åsgard B platform in the Norwegian Sea. It was shut down following a fire in the exhaust section in one of the main generators on 15 October.

Work to map the extent of the damage is in full swing.

"The most important thing now is to find out the cause of the fire and then make the necessary repairs to ensure a safe and secure start-up," says Olav Skotheim, vice president for Åsgard operations.

Mr Skotheim reports that a better overview of the damage is required before it will be possible to specify when the platform can resume production.

The shut-down led to a halt in exports of condensate and gas from Åsgard B. Normal daily output on Åsgard B is just above 80,000 barrels of condensate and roughly 35 million cubic metres of gas.

Production from the Statoil-operated Mikkel field has also been stopped as a consequence of the Åsgard B shutdown. Mikkel produces about 16,000 barrels of condensate and just under 7 million cubic metres of gas per day.

During normal operation, Åsgard gas is mixed with gas from other fields in the area before the volumes are sent through the Åsgard Transport line to the Kårstø processing complex north of Stavanger.

Gas from the Statoil-operated Heidrun field which is normally exported to Kårstø via Åsgard Transport will be reinjected into Heidrun while Åsgard B is shut down. Gas injection represents roughly 1.5 million cubic metres per day.

Deliveries to Statoil's gas customers have not been affected by the shortfall in output.