StatoilHydro: Njord Gas to Start Up in Next Few Days

OSLO Oct. 8, 2007 (Dow Jones Newswires)

Norwegian oil field Njord is set to start gas exports in the next couple of days, slightly behind the scheduled Oct. 1 start date, operator StatoilHydro (STL.OS) said Monday.

"The project is completed. There has been a problem with the risers (at the field) and gas export has not started so far, but we are talking about a couple of days," StatoilHydro spokesman Gisle Johanson said.

1.15 billion Norwegian kroner ($212.9 million) has been invested in equipment for gas export of up to 6 million cubic meters a day from Njord, and a further NOK450 million will be invested in new production wells. Gas from the field was previously reinjected to boost reservoir pressure and oil recovery, Johanson said.

Njord produces around 30,000 barrels of oil a day, shipped by pipeline to storage vessel Njord Bravo, but oil output is in decline. "Oil production will go on. Drilling for new oil reserves will continue," Johanson said.

Gas from Njord will be exported via a new 40-kilometer pipeline to the Asgard Transport system to Kaarstoe from where it will go on to European gas markets.

U.K.-based gas traders said they expected gas from Njord to be sent primarily to the European continent through Europipe II, and were more focused on the timing of the start-up of the Tampen Link pipe bringing gas from Norwegian field Statfjord B, also operated by StatoilHydro, into the U.K.

Norway's gas system operator Gassco said Tuesday that flows through Tampen Link, which has a capacity of 25 million cubic meters, could start up on Tuesday or Wednesday.

StatoilHydro owns a 20% stake in Njord, E.ON Ruhrgas (RUH.YY) has 30%, Exxon Mobil (XOM) 20%, Gaz de France (1020848.FR) 20%, Petoro 7.50% and Endeavour Energy Norge AS (ENEC) 2.50%.

Copyright (c) 2007 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.