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First gas from Kvitebjørn

September 27, 2004, 16:55 CEST

Production began from Statoil’s Kvitebjørn development in the Norwegian North Sea on 26 September.

Daily output from the field is due to build up gradually to a plateau of about 20 million cubic metres of natural gas and 62,000 barrels (10,000 cubic metres) of condensate.

“This development has reached a milestone and been delivered on time and to budget” says Sigurd Geir Amland, Statoil’s operations vice president for Troll Gas and Kvitebjørn.

“A great job has been done over a long period, with all challenges handled in a professional manner – not least on a hectic last lap.”

Set to produce for 14 years, Kvitebjørn represents Statoil’s first high temperature and pressure (HTHP) project, with a reservoir pressure of 780 bar and a temperature of 150°C.

“We’ve been able to draw on our experience with Huldra, another North Sea field which has a high-pressure reservoir,” says Mr Amland.

Kvitebjørn gas comes ashore at the Kollsnes processing plant near Bergen, which also handles Troll gas, and is piped on to continental Europe after the heavier components are removed.

These natural gas liquids are then piped to the Vestprosess facility at Mongstad further north for fractionation to propane, butane and naphtha.

“The Kvitebjørn-Kollsnes-Vestprosess-Mongstad value chain provides a fine example of further domestic processing and enhanced value creation,” says Mr Amland.

“This strengthens the position of Kollsnes – not only as an export hub, but also because we are now processing the NGL into fractions which can be used in other products.”

The first in a total of 11 production wells due to be drilled on Kvitebjørn has been brought on stream, with the second scheduled to follow around 1 October.

Recoverable reserves from the field are put at 55 billion cubic metres of gas and 190 million barrels of condensate.

The official inauguration of the field will take place on 12 November this year.