The Snøhvit Future project
Snøhvit Future will strengthen Norway’s position as a reliable and long-term supplier of gas produced with very low greenhouse gas emissions, securing jobs in Hammerfest and energy supplies to Europe.
The project consists of two developments: Snøhvit Onshore Compression and Snøhvit Electrification, which will cut emissions and extend the life of the Snøhvit field.
Why is Snøhvit Future so important?
The Snøhvit Future project at Melkøya in Hammerfest will secure exports and economic development in northern Norway, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Here, we explain more about this comprehensive project.
Reducing emissions by 850,000 tonnes per year
Hammerfest LNG employs about 900 people, including spin-offs
6.5 million households
Every day, Hammerfest LNG provides light and heat for 6.5 million homes
Electrification of Hammerfest LNG will substitute power from the gas turbines currently in use with electricity from the grid. This will reduce CO2 emissions from the plant by around 850,000 tonnes annually.
This project is the single largest measure for reducing emissions and decarbonising oil and gas production in Norway, and an important contribution to the energy transition.
The Snøhvit partners are investing NOK 13.2 billion (2022) in the Snøhvit Future project, which which generate significant ripple effects and jobs in Finnmark, Northern Norway and nationally. Around 70% of value creation in the development phase is expected to go to Norwegian companies. Regional employment is estimated at almost 1,700 full-time equivalents, mainly locally* in Finnmark.
The approval of Snøhvit Future ensures continued operation on Melkøya. Today, 350 permanent employees and 150 contractors and apprentices work at the plant, and the total ripple effects in Northern Norway are documented by Kunnskapsparken Bodø to be almost 900 full-time equivalents.
*Local = Hammerfest, Alta, Måsøy, Nordkapp, Porsanger, Lebesby, Karasjok and Gamvik.
We are pleased that the government has given the green light to the Snøhvit Future project, which secures the future of the facility.
This enables us to cut emissions from Hammerfest LNG, while maintaining jobs in the north and securing gas supplies to Europe.
There has been an expectation that we will reduce emissions ever since the project's inception, and we have submitted an application for what the partnership believes is the best solution.
We understand that this has been a demanding issue and that the authorities have stipulated that electrification must be postponed until 2030. We must also take into account that the gas turbines may have to remain on standby until the licence expires in 2033, if the power situation so requires.
Key facts about the Snøhvit Future project
- Three large modules will be installed at the plant: compressor, substation and electric steam boilers, and extensive modification work will also be carried out. In addition, there will be activity around the city of Hammerfest, including the construction of a tunnel and substation for the continuation of power from Hyggevatn to Melkøya.
- Electrification of Hammerfest LNG will require more power for the Melkøya plant. Accordingly, Statnett has decided to build a new 420 kV power line from Skaidi to Hyggevatn.
- The planned emission cuts of 850,000 tonnes of CO2 correspond to 13 per cent of the oil and gas industry’s target for emission reductions by 2030 – approximately 2 per cent of Norway’s total emissions.
Facts about Hammerfest LNG
Hammerfest LNG commenced production in 2007. About 500 people work at the plant, including apprentices and contractors. Including spin-off effects, Hammerfest LNG employs a total of about 900 people in North Norway.
85 per cent of the revenues from Melkøya go to the Treasury through taxes and direct ownership (Petoro). In addition, there is the government's dividend on Equinor shares.
Every year, Hammerfest LNG contributes NOK 170 million in property tax to Hammerfest municipality. Snøhvit Future extends these revenues for the municipality beyond 2030 – in addition to increasing them by about 30 percent.
- Every day, Hammerfest LNG contributes to 6.5 million households having light and heat in their homes, and production from Melkøya corresponds to 5 per cent of Norway's total exports. LNG ships call at Melkøya every 5 days.
- During normal production, Hammerfest LNG delivers 6.5 billion cubic metres of LNG per year. In addition, there areLPG and condensate products.
- Hammerfest LNG is Norway's and Europe's first production facility for cooled liquefied natural gas (LNG). The three fields Snøhvit, Askeladd and Albatross are located approx. 143 km from Hammerfest and have been developed with a subsea solution where no installations are visible on the sea surface.
- Snøhvit was the first development in the southern Barents Sea and was the first major development on the Norwegian continental shelf without surface installations.
- The well stream is transported in a 143-kilometre pipeline for processing into liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the onshore facility on Melkøya near Hammerfest. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is separated and returned to the field by pipeline for injection into the aquifer (CCS), while LNG, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensates are shipped to the market.
- Gas from the Snøhvit and Albatross reservoirs came on stream in 2007, while Askeladd came on stream in December 2022, extending plateau production. The Askeladd West project, which is currently under development, will start in 2025 and will extend the plateau until Snøhvit Future starts up in 2028.
FAQs: Frequently asked questions
In the past year, we have received—and answered—a large number of questions about the Snøhvit Future project.
In some cases, we have had to refer questions to other parties, such as the authorities, NVE and Statnett, since they also have important roles to play.
Here, we provide detailed answers to many of the questions received.