During a routine inspection, a small leak was discovered in the gas pipeline between the Kvitebjorn platform and the Kollsnes gas treatment facility outside Bergen.
In the autumn of 2007, this pipeline was dragged out of position by a ship's anchor. In January this year, the pipeline was qualified for temporary use pending a permanent repair. This summer it was decided to make the permanent repair in 2009.
The leak which has now been discovered is in the same place as the pipeline was damaged last autumn, around 10 kilometers from the platform.
StatoilHydro will now consider various repair solutions for the Kvitebjorn pipeline. On this basis, it will be decided when operation of the pipeline and the Kvitebjorn field can be resumed.
Turnaround operations are presently being carried out at Kvitebjorn and Kollsnes and the pressure in the pipeline has accordingly been reduced. The pipeline will now be further depressurized and emptied via flaring at Kollsnes.
The shutdown of the rich gas pipeline between Kvitebjorn and Kollsnes will impact StatoilHydro's production for the remainder of the year.
The Visund platform, which normally utilizes the Kvitebjorn pipeline for gas export, will continue to inject gas during the shutdown and liquids will consequently be produced. Kvitebjorn liquids and gas production will be shut down.Oil production from Visund is being maintained, but at a somewhat lower level than usual.
StatoilHydro's gas customers are not likely to be affected by the incident. StatoilHydro maintains the guiding on 1.9 million barrels per day of equity production for 2008.
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