Development Plans for Visund Field Ahead of Schedule

The development and production plan for gas from the Hydro-operated Visund field in the North Sea was approved Friday by the Norwegian executive cabinet. Development of Visund gas includes investments in new gas treatment capacity on the existing Visund platform and construction of a new pipeline from Visund to a gas pipeline from the Statoil-operated Kvitebjorn gas and condensate field. The original Visund field plan called for gas export to begin in 2007. The new approved plan stipulates gas export to start in 2005.

"It's very positive to have moved ahead gas export by two years. This means higher value creation on Visund," Dale remarked. "A condition requires that gas export not reduce oil production, so we'll subsequently boost gas injection and count on oil output to rise as a result."

Visund's recoverable gas reserves are estimated at 55.5 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3), of which 4.7 million tons is natural gas liquids (NGL). Total investments in the Visund gas project are estimated at NOK 2.68 billion (US $360 million).

The project includes construction and installation of two modules for respective gas injection and gas export. The Visund platform's living quarters will also be expanded by 12 new beds. Contractor Leirvik Sveis in western Norway has been awarded the contract to expand the living accommodations.

The Visund field lies in the Tampen area, east of the Snorre field. Visund gas export entails transporting the field's gas through a new pipeline to the Kvitebjorn pipeline for further transport to the land-based Kollsnes gas treatment center west of Bergen. The gas will be treated in Kollsnes' NGL facility and then transported to market through existing pipelines.


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