Blair and Stoltenberg will open Langeled

September 14, 2006, 12:00 CEST

The British Prime Minister Tony Blair will preside over the official opening of the gas pipeline Langeled along with his Norwegian counterpart Jens Stoltenberg, at the Hydro-hosted occasion in London on 16 October. Langeled is an important part of the Ormen Lange development, for which Hydro is operator.

The opening ceremony in London will mark the fact that the southern part of Langeled - between the Sleipner field and the reception facility in Easington - is complete, and that the export of gas to the UK through this pipeline has begun.

"We were anxious to see whether or not Blair would be willing to take part in the opening of Langeled, but it turned out that it was not that difficult to get him to say yes. We are proud that the Prime Ministers of both countries want to participate. This says a lot about the relationship between the UK and Norway, and about Norway's importance as a gas-producing country. This will be a great day for those of us who have been responsible for the whole project," comments Senior Vice President Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen, head of Corporate Communication in Hydro.

Presenting Langeled
During the opening ceremony, Hydro's President and CEO Eivind Reiten will give the opening address and present the Langeled project, before the two Prime Ministers mark the fact that the export of gas from Norway to the UK has begun. Following this, an energy seminar will be held, where Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy Odd Roger Enoksen and Britain's Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks are both due to take part.

Children from Easington in England and Aukra municipality in the county of Møre and Romsdal, Norway, will take part in the opening ceremony, along with a range of prominent official representatives of the UK and Norway, the oil and gas industry, and the financial world.

State Secretary Morten Wetland from the Norwegian Prime Minister's office emphasises that there is reason to be proud of the Norwegian contribution to reliability of supply in the British gas market.

Prior to the official opening in London, a public festival will be held in Easington on 14 October, where the whole village will be invited to a huge English tea party.

The world's longest
The 1,200 kilometre long pipeline Langeled is the world's longest subsea gas pipeline, and it connects the Ormen Lange field's gas plant at Nyhamna in Aukra municipality, Norway, with the reception facility in Easington, on the north-east coast of England.

The Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea will be able to supply the UK with 20 per cent of its gas requirements, when it comes on stream in October next year.