Snohvit Contract to go to Dragados

Statoil has recommended the Spanish fabricator Dragados Offshore for the NOK 1,450 million contract for constructing and installing the project's gas liquefaction plant on a prefabricated barge.

The recommendation has been presented to the partnership February 5th.

"Dragados has been chosen after a detailed assessment," says Snohvit project director Egil Gjesteland. "The assessment concluded that Dragados clearly has made the best bid. "That's based on quality, price, ability to deliver, and health, safety and the environment."

Statoil has investigated the extent to which competitive distortions subject to European Union regulations might exist in relation to rival companies. Nothing has been found to suggest that such distortions are present. The liquefaction plant is to be placed on a barge currently under construction at Spain's Izar Fene shipyard. Installation will take place at the Dragados facility in Cadiz. Once this work has been completed, the barge with the processing plant will be towed to the island of Melkøya near Hammerfest in northern Norway. This is scheduled for 2005.

Snohvit, which is located in the Barents Sea off northern Norway, is due to produce 5.7 billion standard cubic meters of gas per year, which will be converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG). Production is set to start in 2006.

Total investment in the Snohvit development is estimated to be NOK 45.3 billion.