Statoil: 1st Snohvit LNG Cargoes in Late Summer, Early Autumn

BARCELONA Apr 25, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

The first liquefied natural gas cargoes from the giant Snohvit field in the Barents Sea will be delivered in late summer or early autumn of this year, Rune Bjornson, Statoil ASA's (STO) executive vice president for gas, said Tuesday.

Speaking at the sidelines of the triennial LNG 15 conference in Barcelona, Bjornson said regular deliveries of LNG would start in December, but there could be some "odd cargoes" before this date.

Bjornson also said Statoil was still discussing the possibility of producing associated oil at Snohvit, and had yet to come to a decision, but he added that it would be announced soon.

Earlier this year, Statoil and its partners Total SA (TOT), Hess Corp. (HES), Gaz de France Norge and RWE Dea, and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and Ministry for Petroleum and Energy, decided to reconsider this option just weeks after rejecting it as uneconomic.

The oil at Snohvit would have to be recovered as quickly as possible to avoid reducing the reservoir pressure and damaging gas production.

Separately, Bjornson said there was still no decision on the final destination for the proposed pipeline from the Troll gas field, Norway's largest, to either the U.K., Belgium or the Netherlands.

The field currently supplies has into continental Europe, and Statoil plans to expand existing gas production from the field to fill the new pipeline.

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