StatoilHydro has decided to bring forward the repairs to the Kvitebjorn pipeline. The plan is to perform the repairs in the first quarter of 2009.
The Kvitebjorn rich gas pipeline, which runs from the Kvitebjorn platform in the North Sea to Kollsnes processing plant outside Bergen, was closed on August 20 following the discovery of a minor gas leakage from the pipe.
The gas leakage was discovered during a routine inspection of the pipeline in connection with start-up after a scheduled shutdown. The leakage is in the same place as the pipe was damaged last year by a ship's anchor roughly 10 kilometers from the platform.
The pipe was qualified for temporary use in January 2008 pending permanent repairs that were scheduled for summer 2009.
StatoilHydro has reassessed various alternative repair solutions and plans to start the repairs to the pipeline at the turn of the year.
Given the uncertainly attached to weather conditions in the North Sea at that time of year, it is not possible to say with any certainty how long the repair work will take. If the primary repair solution is successful, StatoilHydro expects production to resume by the end of the first quarter 2009. If it is necessary to change the repair strategy underway, start-up will most probably take place around June 1, 2009.
During the period until repairs start, Kvitebjorn will continue with the planned drilling program as well as continuing with necessary scheduled maintenance work.
The Visund field also usually uses the Kvitebjorn pipeline for gas exports. This gas is now being reinjected into the reservoir. Oil production on Visund is being maintained, but at a lower level than usual.
Kvitebjorn's production capacity is 22.5 million cubic metres of gas per day and 10,000 cubic metres of condensate per day.
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