First cargo of Norwegian gas to USA

February 22, 2008, 08:04 CET

Arctic Discoverer docked at Cove Point at around 14:30 p.m. local time
yesterday . (Photo: Roar Lindefjeld)

The LNG carrier Arctic Discoverer docked at the Cove Point gas import terminal in the state of Maryland, south of Washington DC, at around 14:30 p.m. local time yesterday, after a voyage of 12 days across the Atlantic ocean. Its cargo comes from the world's most northerly export facility for LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) at Melkøya outside Hammerfest in Finnmark.

"This is an historic occasion," says Rune Bjørnson, StatoilHydro's executive vice president for the Natural Gas business area.

"For over 20 years StatoilHydro has supplied the American market with crude oil from the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea. Now were are also supplying gas from the Norwegian continental shelf. For the American market, this means improved security of supply. For our part, we will continue to develop to become an even more flexible supplier of energy for our customers," says Bjørnson.

StatoilHydro has a significant gas position and is Europe's second largest supplier of gas. The company has been a stable and reliable supplier of piped gas for many years. Through the development of the Snøhvit-field in the Barents Sea, StatoilHydro's marketing of gas is becoming ever more global.

"In order to meet future energy demand I believe that we will see shipments of gas between continents in the same way as we have seen with oil. Through the LNG production from the Snøhvit field, gas can be distributed over the whole world. Gas is becoming a global commodity," says Bjørnson.

In brief:
  • The licencees for the Snøhvit-field: StatoilHydro (operator) (33.53 percent), Petoro (30.00), Total E&P Norway (18.40), Gaz de France (12), Hess (3,26) and RWE Dea Norway (2.81).
  • Snøhvit is the first development in the Barents Sea. With no surface installations, natural gas is brought to land and cooled for liquificiation at the export facility for LNG.
  • StatoilHydro will market a total of 4 billion cubic metres of gas annually at the field's full capacity.
  • StatoilHydro has a long-term long term throughput arrangement with the Cove Point-terminal which is an import for gas to the US east coast. Here, liquefied natural gas is delivered, stored and regassified to become pipeline gas.
  • Since 2003, StatoilHydro has delivered LNG to Cove Point from suppliers in Trinidad, Algeria and Egypt. The company administers a third of the import capacity for LNG at the terminal today. This amounts to around 2.4 billion cubic metres of gas annually.
  • The import terminal at Cove Point is now being expanded, and StatoilHydro has secured all of the new capacity. StatoilHydro will thus achieve access to capacity amounting to some 10 billion cubic metres of gas annually from 2009.