Gas Output from Jotun Field Halted Due to Pipeline Rupture

Gas output from ExxonMobil's Jotun oil and gas field offshore Norway remained halted Monday, a company spokesman said.

The field was taken off-line Friday following the rupturing of a six-inch gas pipeline, officials at Gassco, the state gas-pipeline infrastructure, said.

The ExxonMobil spokesman said oil production was back up to normal by Saturday, but gas output - around 0.5 million cubic meters a day - was still down with no export route.

The cause of the rupture hasn't been disclosed but Gassco officials said it may take weeks to repair.

The officials said an estimated 1 million cubic meters of gas leaked into the ocean before the six-inch pipe - which connects to the 32-inch Statpipe - was sealed by a remote controlled underwater vessel.

The Jotun field, located in the North Sea, 200 kilometers west of Stavanger, produced an average of 39,000 barrels of oil a day in 2003.

ExxonMobil is the operator of Jotun and has 45% equity in the field. Other participants are Shell (RD, SC) with 45%, Petoro with 3% and Lundin Petroleum (LUPE.SK) with 7%.