New oil grade from Norwegian Sea

October 12, 2006, 01:30 CEST

A new light oil grade based on condensate and crude from the Åsgard, Kristin and Mikkel fields in the Norwegian Sea was introduced by Statoil on 1 October under the name Åsgard Blend.

Replacing the previous practice of separate crude and condensate liftings from Åsgard, the first consignment of the new grade left the field earlier this month.

That cargo went to Statoil’s Kalundborg refinery in Denmark, while the next two loadings are due to go to a Dutch plant in Rotterdam and Statoil’s Mongstad facility near Bergen.

Åsgard Blend will be marketed as a crude mix, reports Kjetil Johnsen, crude trading manager in the oil trading and supply cluster in Manufacturing & Marketing.

He describes it as a light, sweet crude with a high technical value for refineries. It is stored on Åsgard, where the Kristin and Mikkel wellstreams are also processed.

Output from the Åsgard A oil production ship and B gas platform was previously piped to two separate stores, with Kristin production held on the Åsgard C storage ship.

Following the introduction of Åsgard Blend, the three product streams have been merged and their volumes regulated to achieve a standard API specific gravity.

“The new blend represents an oil of good and stable quality,” says Mr Johnsen. “This will give us better commercial opportunities.”

Åsgard, Kristin and Mikkel are substantial contributors to oil sales from the Norwegian continental shelf, and Mr Johnsen expects 80-90 Åsgard Blend cargoes to be lifted annually.