Norsk Hydro Submits Visund Development Plans

The Hydro-operated Visund field in the Tampen area of the North Sea shall, according to plan, export gas reserves via the Kollsnes plants in Oygarden outside of Bergen from 2005, subject to approval from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The project, which is linked to the drilling and production platform Visund, was approved on Tuesday by the owners of the Visund field. The formal plan for development and operation was therefore sent to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for final approval on Tuesday afternoon.

"Norsk Hydro and the other partners in Visund intend to recover the considerable volumes of gas that are available in the Visund field. We want to alter the Visund platform and lay a pipeline so that gas export can start from the platform in 2005. We aim to export the total reserve of gas of around 55 billion cubic meters," says senior vice president in Hydro Arild Unneberg.

In addition to export, the project also covers increased gas processing capacity on the platform that will accelerate oil production. This solution will make it possible to export large volumes of gas from the field two years earlier than originally planned.

"Visund currently produces oil, but there are also considerable gas volumes in the reservoir which we intend to realize this valuethrough export," says Unneberg.

Three alternative routes have been considered: export to the Heimdal platforms for subsequent export to Europe; export to the Brent B platform for subsequent export to the UK; and export to Kollsnes in Oygarden, via the Kvitebjorn pipeline. The partnership found the last alternative was most attractive for Visund.

The investments for the development, including modifications on the infrastructure are estimated at approximately NOK 2.1 billion up to the point when gas exports can start in 2005.

As of January 1, 2003, Statoil will take over operatorship of Visund, and will then also take over the overall responsibility for this project.


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