Gas Leak Halts Production at Norway Troll A Field

Troll A
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LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), June 29, 2010

Production has been suspended at several Norwegian North Sea oil and gas facilities after a small gas leak at Statoil's Troll A field earlier Tuesday, the company said.

Prompt U.K natural gas prices soar higher in response.

Production has been halted at Norway's largest gas field, Troll A following the leak, in addition to flows from Kvitebjoern and Visund oil and gas fields. Output has also been reduced at sister Statoil fields Troll B and Troll C.

Statoil spokesman Gisle Johansen confirmed a gas leak was reported at Troll A at 0530 GMT and production had subsequently been shut-in.

The Troll A incident means gas hasn't flowed into the Kollsnes Gas Processing plant, which handles nearly 40% of total Norwegian gas exports. Prompt U.K. gas prices have gained ground on growing concern over tighter flows from the Norwegian Continental Shelf, say traders who pegged within-day gas at 45 pence a therm up from closer to 40 pence a therm in recent days, and gas for Wednesday at 44.50 pence a therm.

"We've still got pretty low NCS flows, so that's holding the price up a bit," said one trader. "The curve is coming off though, so I think that reflects that people think it's only short-term [problem]."

According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's website, the Troll Field--including Troll B and Troll C--produced 28.7 billion cubic meters of gas in 2009 and 1.08 million meters of natural gas liquids. Visund produced 25,000 barrels a day of oil and 730 million cubic meters of gas, while Kvitebjoern produced 41,000 barrels a day of oil and 5.41 billion cubic meters of gas.

This latest technical glitch follows a temporary shutdown at the field in January also relating to a gas leak.

Johansen said there was no update on when production at the Gullfaks C field would be restarted. Gullfaks C remains offline after being shut May 20 due to unstable well pressure.

The Gullfaks field, operated by Statoil, has three platforms Gullfaks A, B, C. Gullfaks A and C receive and process oil and gas from Gullfaks Soer and Gimle. All three facilities are also involved in production and transport crude oil from Tordis, Vigdis and Visund fields.

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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