Statoil to Provide Technical Services to Langeled Pipeline System

Gassled has decided to assign the technical service provider (TSP) tasks for the Langeled pipeline system to Statoil from and including September 1, 2006.

Statoil will then become responsible for the daily operations of the 1,200-kilometer Langeled, the world's longest subsea pipeline.

Langeled, the new "highway" for gas between Norway and the UK, is expected to supply the UK with one-fifth of its gas demand by the end of 2007.

"Statoil has been responsible for the project and pipelaying, and is therefore well acquainted with the new system," says Alv Bjorn Solheim, senior vice president for supply and infrastructure in Natural Gas.

The TSP tasks for Langeled will be performed by the pipeline operations (RD) unit, based at the Kårstø plant in south-western Norway. RD is the technical service provider for a total of 13 pipeline systems operated by Gassco on behalf of the Gassled partnership. As part of the TSP tasks Statoil will also prepare condition reports and inspection and maintenance programs for each individual pipeline system.

The southern part of the pipeline (44 inches), from the Sleipner area in the North Sea to Easington on the UK east coast, will come on stream in October 2006. The northern part (42 inches) between Nyhamna in mid-Norway and Sleipner will be put into operation in 2007, parallel with the start-up of the deliveries from the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea. Hydro is the operator of the Ormen Lange development, whereas Shell takes over once the field comes on stream.

Gassco took over the operatorship for Langeled on September 1, 2006, simultaneously with the inclusion of Langeled and the new UK terminal in the Gassled partnership as a result of an agreement between the Langeled and Gassled owners.

Gassled was established on January 1, 2003. The partnership owns most of the gas transport infrastructure on the Norwegian continental shelf. After the inclusion of Langeled Gassled is owned by Petoro, Statoil, Hydro, Total, ExxonMobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Eni, Dong and Norsea Gas.

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