StatoilHydro's Kvitebjorn Back on Stream

Kvitebjorn is back on stream, after the pipeline from Kvitebjorn to Kollsnes was shifted out of position and damaged by a ship's anchor in the autumn of 2007.

A routine inspection last autumn revealed that the gas pipeline from Kvitebjorn in the North Sea to the Kollsnes gas plant was shifted out of position by a ship's anchor. The pipeline's weight coating sustained external damage.

The pipeline was shut down for further examinations. Consequently the start-up of production at Kvitebjorn, which was shut down for extensive well operations, was postponed.

Also the gas export from Visund, which uses the pipeline, was affected by the pipeline damage.

Internal and external technical milieus have carried out thorough calculations and evaluations and have collectively decided that the pipeline has sufficient technical integrity and is qualified for temporary operation. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway has been continuously informed about the work and its conclusions.

The pipeline repairs are weather dependent and will therefore be performed in the summer season.

Production at Kvitebjorn has been resumed, and gas both from Visund and Kvitebjorn is now being transported to Kollsnes.

Kvitebjorn's production was shut down in May 2007 in order to avoid further depressurisation of the reservoirs and to ensure safe drilling of the remaining wells.

At about the same time that the last well in the primary drilling program was finished, the pipeline damage was discovered -- hindering the start up of Kvitebjorn in November 2007.

In October of this year, the drilling and well community in StatoilHydro won the national Technology Award 2007 for its path-breaking drilling technology on the Kvitebjorn field.

The Kvitebjorn field is located in block 34/11, east of the Gullfaks field in the North Sea. The gas and condensate field came on stream on Sept. 26, 2004, and gas deliveries from the field started on Oct. 1, 2004. According to current plans, some 55 billion cubic meters of gas and 22 million cubic meters of condensate will be produced from Kvitebjorn.