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Forecasting Barents Sea energy role

October 19, 2005, 12:20 CEST

Norway’s gas transport network could extend to the Barents Sea within 20 years, according to a report presented by consultancies Barlindhaug and Bedriftskompetanse today, 19 October.

Covering petroleum development perspectives in these waters, this document predicts that the pipeline system could tie into new supplies in both Norwegian and Russian sectors of the Barents Sea.

It also identifies a number of potential development projects in the far north over the next 15-20 years.

In addition to extending the Norwegian transport network with a spur into the northern Barents Sea, these include landing gas in north Norway and a new processing plant there.

The gas could then be piped south along the Norwegian coast. A new plant to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export by ship could also be relevant.

“This report highlights the long-term strategies for developing oil and gas in the Barents Sea,” says Johan Petter Barlindhaug, chair of Barlindhaug.

“These could prompt great powers such as the USA, Russia and European Union members to look more to Norway when shaping plans to secure their energy supplies.”

The Barents Sea has the potential to play a big role in long-term and diversified energy provision for Europe and North America, agrees Henrik Carlsen, who heads Statoil’s commitment in these waters.

“Our development of the Snøhvit field marks the start of this role, and I see a need for a long-term commitment to identify new resources in the Barents Sea.”

He believes that the regional consequences of a possible development could be very substantial.

Establishing a Norwegian industrial strategy for the far north will accordingly be important for safeguarding national interests in this region.