Also forcing a suspension of gas and condensate output from the Sleipner area, the closure of the plant early on June 5th followed the discovery of corrosion in part of the structure. This problem affected a two-inch pipe socket in each of the plant's two stabilizers, and was first detected during an inspection of stabilizer 2.
According to public affairs manager Sverre Olden Mala in the Natural Gas business area, the damage probably reflects internal corrosion in the pipe. A test of stabilizer 1 also indicated that its corresponding section of piping could have suffered from the same problem. Both gas and condensate production from the Sleipner area in the North Sea is due to resume on June 12th when the processing facility comes back on stream.
Statoil's gas deliveries to its European customers have not been affected by the shutdown. Condensate piped from the Sleipner fields to Kårstø is stabilized and fractionated in its own plant. The Kårstø complex is operated by Gassco, with Statoil as its technical services provider.
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