Hydro Passes Operatorship Of Tampen Area Fields to Statoil

Operator responsibility for Snorre, Visund, Tordis and Vigdis in the Tampen area of the North Sea will pass from Norsk Hydro to Statoil at midnight, December 31. The two companies have been preparing for the change-over since the summer of 2000, reports Svein G Larsen, who has headed the transfer project in Exploration & Production Norway. "Work has gone very smoothly, with companies and union officials cooperating extremely well," he says. "Everyone has put in a lot of effort to complete the process."

The transfer means that Statoil will become the only operator in Tampen area which also includes Statafjord and Gullfaks as well as a number of subsea developments tied back to the main fields. A million barrels of oil equivalent are delivered every day from this area, corresponding to 28 percent of total Norwegian offshore output.

The hand-over also brings Statoil 550 new and motivated employees, including about 250 employed offshore on Snorre A and B as well as the Visund platform. Just under 50 Visund personnel will be moving into the group's Sandsli offices just outside Bergen. At the same time, 200 new colleagues – mostly attached to the Snorre organization – are due to join existing Statoil staff at the Forus West offices in Stavanger. About another 50 people will be incorporated in other entities, such as corporate services and central staff functions, at Forus West, Forus East and Forushagen.

The operatorship changes were agreed in connection with Hydro's acquisition of Saga Petroleum in 1999.