Corresponding in energy terms to some 1,530 terawatt-hours, this volume is enough to meet the annual energy needs of more than 76.5 million European households.
"Statpipe laid the basis for the whole gas infrastructure on the Norwegian continental shelf," says Rune Bjørnson, executive vice president for the Natural Gas business area.
"With its landfall at Kårstø north of Stavanger, constructing this system also demonstrated that Statoil could handle the entire gas value chain from production to marketing."
Norway's annual gas exports have rise from 26 billion cubic meters in 1985 to roughly NOK 80 billion. At a gas price of roughly NOK 1 per cubic meter, this represents an export value of about NOK 80 billion.
Capacity at Kårstø was originally five billion cubic meters per year, but is due to reach 30 billion during October when Kristin gas starts to flow from the Norwegian Sea.
This means that a third of all Norway's gas deliveries to European markets pass through the plant, which now processes production from both North and Norwegian Sea fields.
Norwegian gas is exported today through five pipelines to continental Europe and one to the UK. The Langeled system from the Sleipner fields to Britain also becomes operational in 2006.
Statoil is responsible for executing the Langeled project on behalf of Norsk Hydro, development operator for the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea.
New players have become involved in the gas chain over the past two decades, with state-owned Gassco taking over as operator for land-based plants and pipelines.
Statoil is responsible for the technical operation of the Kårstø facilities with associated pipelines on behalf of the operator.
Dry gas is exported from Kårstø through the Europipe II and Statpipe/Norpipe transport systems to northern Germany.
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