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Visund gas - costs down NOK 500 million

September 14, 2006, 14:45 CEST

Conversion of Statoil’s Visund platform in the Tampen area of the Norwegian North Sea for gas export is being brought in at a cost almost NOK 500 million below the original estimate.

The plan for construction and operation (PDO) submitted by the former operator, Norsk Hydro, put the investment at NOK 2.23 billion in current money. During the final phase of the project, this figure has been reduced to NOK 1.75 billion. Statoil took over as Visund operator on 1 January 2003.

"We’ve worked to optimise the solutions," explains Lars Christian Bacher, senior vice president for the group’s Tampen business cluster.

"The weight of the new gas modules has been reduced by more than 30 per cent, or just over 300 tonnes. And the tie-in with the Kvitebjørn pipeline went much better than expected.

"We’ve also faced challenges and delays with construction halts during the conversion, but we’re finished on schedule and gas exports will begin as planned on 1 October.

"The challenges related to preparatory work, a delay in mobilising the crane barge from west Africa and difficult weather conditions which cut the time we could use the Regalia flotel."

Mr Bacher is also very pleased with the excellent health, safety and environmental results achieved during the 200,000 offshorehours worked on the project.

Annual gas exports from Visund are expected to total about two billion cubic metres up to 2011, and will then rise to five billion cubic metres as injection requirements decline.

This volume will flow via the Kvitebjørn pipeline to the Kollsnes gas processing plant near Bergen, and from there to European markets.

The Visund licensees are Statoil (operator) with 32.9 per cent, Petoro with 30 per cent, Hydro with 20.3 per cent, ConocoPhillips with 9.1 per cent and Total with 7.7 per cent.