Norway's energy ministry has formally proposed advancing the controversial NOK 40 billion for the Barents Sea Snohvit LNG project operated by Statoil. The ministry said it had submitted a proposition for the field's development and operations in the parliament today. Energy minister Einar Steensnaes said: "Snohvit is a big and important project. The development represents the largest industrial project in Finnmark ever and is also important for Norway as a gas exporter. Snohvit is the first development in this vulnerable area. I believe that in a good way we have taken consideration of the environment and good management of our petroleum resources in connection with the Snohvit project."
If approved, the development is slated to come on stream by October 2006. Gas sales agreements have been concluded for a period of up to 20 years with various buyers. At peak production, Snohvit will deliver appoximtely 5.67 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to United States and European markets.