"This is an important milestone for Norway and the Langeled license partners. With Langeled, we will have even greater flexibility in the Norwegian gas transport system, enabling us to send even more gas to the British market," says Hydro's head of the Markets sector, senior vice president Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup.
The southern section of the Langeled pipeline was scheduled to commence operation on October 1, but in fact Hydro has been selling gas via Langeled since Wednesday of last week. The gas has been sold on the British gas exchange, National Balancing Point (NBP).
"The Langeled project, involving the welding of 100,000 sections to create the world's longest subsea pipeline with a length of 1,200 kilometers, as well as the modifications to Sleipner and the construction of the Easington reception facility, has been a tremendous logistical and HSE challenge," says senior vice president Tom Røtjer of Hydro, who is responsible for the Ormen Lange and Langeled development.
"We are thrilled at being able now to pipe gas through the southern part of Langeled, which connects the gas intersection point, Sleipner, on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, with Easington in England. We are also ready to lay the final pipeline sections on the northern part of Langeled that will connect the processing facility on Nyhamna in Aukra with Sleipner," he says.
As a result of good project management and execution in a favourable market, Langeled has been completed at a cost of almost three billion Norwegian kroner below budget.
Hydro is operator for the Ormen Lange/Langeled development project, while Statoil has project management responsibility for Langeled in conjunction with Hydro. On September 1 Gassco overtook the operatorship of Langeled and the Easington terminal.
Large gas export
Langeled is the second direct export pipeline to Great Britain from the Norwegian continental shelf, with the capacity to transport 70 million cubic meters of gas per day. When production from the Ormen Lange field comes on stream in October 2007, this field in the Norwegian Sea will be able to supply Great Britain with 20 per cent of its gas requirement for several decades.
Since 2001, Hydro has doubled gas exports from 5 to 10 billion cubic meters per year. It is expected that the escalation of supplies will continue and that exports will amount to approximately 16 billion cubic meters in 2010 when Ormen Lange reaches plateau production. At that point Norway will go from being the world's third largest gas exporter to the second largest.
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