New Gas Company Created in Norway

A company which plans to create a regional gas market in the Grenland industrial area of southeast Norway has been established effective January 18th, by Statoil and three domestic partners.

Naturgass Grenland AS is owned 30 percent each by Statoil, Norsk Hydro and Skagerak Energi, while Gasnor has a 10 percent holding. The agreement creating the company was signed on behalf of Statoil by Gunnar Myrvang, vice president for gas and energy solutions.

A preliminary study by the owners shows that natural gas can be profitably distributed in the coastal area around the towns of Skien and Porsgrunn south of Oslo. The next step will be to identify which companies in the region could convert to gas from heating oil, for instance. Mr. Myrvang envisions annual sales of 20-30 million cubic meters. This compares with Gasnor's existing turnover of 40 million cubic meters in the Haugaland region north of Stavanger.

With its head office in Porsgrunn, Naturgass Grenland looks ahead to the possibility that a Norwegian gas trunkline – including a branch to Grenland – could be laid through the Skagerrak to Poland.

According to Mr. Myrvang, the company will study opportunities for utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG) until possible pipeline supplies become available.