Gas demand increasing

October 16, 2006, 14:00 CEST

Few companies are better positioned than Statoil for meeting the increasing UK demand for gas, said Rune Bjørnson, executive vice president for Natural Gas during the official opening of the Langeled pipeline in London on 16 October.

Statoil has been responsible for the design and laying of Langeled on behalf of the operator, Norsk Hydro. So far, the project has been delivered at a cost of NOK 3 billion below the operator's budget.

"With the opening of Langeled, Norway's and Statoil's gas supplies to the UK and Europe will increase in coming years," says Mr Bjørnson.

Europe's demand for energy is expected to increase by 50% towards 2030. Of all fossil fuels, the demand for gas is increasing the most. This has pushed European energy security to the top of the political agenda in recent years. Statoil wishes to fill the gap in the increasing European demand and search for new industrial and market possibilities in the wake of pipelaying operations on Langeled.

"Few companies are better positioned than Statoil for meeting the increasing demand for gas in the UK," says Mr Bjørnson.

"We are the leading architect on the Norwegian continental shelf and we cover 10% of the British demand."

He believes the opening of Langeled is the start of an even bigger Statoil delivery to the UK market.

"We will take the industrial responsibility to bring new projects to fruition and to increase gas supplies to the European market," says Mr Bjørnson, referring also to the further development of the giant Statoil-operated Troll field in the North Sea.

"The further development of Troll plays an important part in Statoil's strategy for increasing gas supplies to Europe.

"Together with our partners, we are working to realise 320 billion cubic metres of gas in new Troll reserves. This is a project which can form the basis for a new pipeline to Europe, either if laid to the continent, or to the UK. A new pipeline will also pave the way for several smaller field developments in the Norwegian Sea," says Mr Bjørnson.