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World's longest subsea pipeline from Ormen Lange to the UK in 2007

February 7, 2003, 00:00 CET

Norsk Hydro today received approval from the Ormen Lange license to proceed with work to build a direct pipeline from Aukra in Møre og Romsdal County, via the Sleipner installation in the North Sea, to Easington/Dimlington in the south-east part of the UK.

"The investment demands large parts of the world's pipeline-laying capacity in 2005 and 2006," says Bengt Lie Hansen, Hydro's head of mid-Norway sector of Exploration and Development. "Ormen Lange will increase Norwegian gas export by 25%, making Norway the world's next largest gas exporter after Russia."

The Ormen Lange license has concluded that a new export pipeline to the UK is the most reasonable and flexible solution for transporting gas from Sleipner and on to the market. The license has weighed its resolution against possibly using existing pipelines (Cats, Miller and Seal). Ormen Lange needs to have pipeline capacity of at least 60 million standard cubic meters (m3) per day. In addition, there's transport capacity demand in other parts of the system for gas from other fields.

The total export pipeline system tied into Ormen Lange will be the most significant pipeline project ever in the Norwegian offshore sector. The combined length is 1,200 kilometers.

The Plan for Installation and Operation (PIO) of the most southerly stretch of pipeline - between Sleipner and Easington/Dimlington - is scheduled for delivery to the authorities in June 2003. The corresponding PIO for the northerly section - between Sleipner and Nyhmna in Møre og Romsdal County - is scheduled for delivery by October 2003, together with the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) on the Ormen Lange field itself, which lies in the Norwegian Sea some 140 kilometers west of Kristiansund, Norway.

Norsk Hydro ASA is the development operator of Ormen Lange and affiliated export systems. Production start for Ormen Lange is planned in October 2007.

Shareholders in the Ormen Lange license are the field development operator Norsk Hydro ASA (17.956 percent), the production phase operator A/S Norske Shell (17.2 percent), Petoro a.s (36 percent), Statoil ASA (10.774 percent), Esso Norge AS (7.182 percent) and BP (10.888 percent).