Norsk Hydro Brings Tune Field Onstream

Production from the Tune field started Thursday November 28th. The field, which has been developed with a subsea installation linked to the Oseberg Field Center, will produce three billion cubic meters of gas at plateau rate.

"The start-up of the Tune field is an important milestone for Hydro as a gas company. Production from Tune will considerably boost Hydro's gas production," says senior vice president Torgeir Kydland in Hydro Operations & Production Norway.

The Tune development consists of a template of four wells linked to the Oseberg Field Center. The total reserves in the Tune field amount to 22.9 billion cubic meters gas and 5.8 million cubic meters condensate. The total development costs for the whole Tune project are NOK 3.2 billion, including the drilling of production wells.

The gas volumes from Tune will be used for injection in Oseberg, thus making more Oseberg gas available for export. This will help to optimize utilization of the resources in the Oseberg field.

Hydro's gas production will increase considerably from the present level of around 7 billion cubic meters per year to 12 - 14 billion cubic meters per year towards the end of the decade. Tune is an important field in this connection, and production from Tune will represent around 15 percent of Hydro's total gas prodcution in 2003.

The Tune field was found through an exploration well in 1995 and confirmed by an appraisal well in 1996. Production start on Tune is therefore only six years after the find was confirmed.

The Tune partnership originally decided to lay chrome steel pipelines between Tune and Oseberg, with the aim of reducing the use of anti-corrosion chemicals and thus lessening the environmental impact of the project. However, due to problems with leakage from the pipelines, the partners decided in July 2002 to lay new pipelines in carbon steel. The additional costs in connection with replacing the pipelines are the object of an insurance claim, which has not yet been clarified.

The partners in the Tune field are Hydro as operator with 40%; Petoro with 40% and TotalFinaElf with the remaining 20%.