StatoilHydro Restarts LNG from Snohvit in Barents Sea

After a planned shut-down at the Barents Sea gas development Snohvit, StatoilHydro has restarted production from the LNG plant, reports Reuters. StatoilHydro shut in production at the Snohvit LNG plant in April 2009 for planned maintenance.

"We started Snohvit yesterday morning," StatoilHydro spokesman Geir Gjervan told reporters on Friday. "The turn-around went as planned as did the start-up."

Snohvit is the first development in the arctic waters of the Barents Sea. Located in the Hammerfest Basin offshore Northern Norway, Snohvit is a completely subsea gas development with a pipeline to the onshore LNG plant at Melkoya. Norwegian major StatoilHydro serves as the operator of the development with 33.53% interest. Project partners include Norwegian Petoro, French Total and Gaz de France, American Hess, and German RWE.

Another production shut-down is scheduled later this summer to replace four seawater heat exchangers. Snohvit is currently producing at a 90 to 100% capacity.

In an effort to increase safety and efficiency, StatoilHydro shut in production from 21 of its Norwegian assets, with Snohvit among them. Starting in April 2009, the program also included the Hammerfest LNG plant. In 2008, the company halted production from 26 facilities for maintenance work.