Shell to Pump Up Ormen Lange's Output with 4 New Wells

LONDON (Dow Jones), Oct. 21, 2009

Royal Dutch Shell confirmed Wednesday its Norwegian gas field Ormen Lange is on track to reach peak capacity of 70 million cubic meters a day by the end of the year.

"The production increase will be the result of four new wells that will come onstream in addition to the six existing wells," said spokeswoman Lillian Aasheim.

She was unable to comment on the flow rate of each well or the precise timing of the ramp up of the new wells, but noted 70mcm/day is the design capacity for the field's onshore processing facilities at Nyhamna.

There is renewed focus on Nyhamna, as gas network operator Gassco has begun a process with field operators to identify possible export options for new fields in the Norwegian Sea. Among the options are the upgrade of Nyhamna into a new gas hub to complement Norway's existing hubs at Kaarstoe and Kollsnes.

Gas from Nyhamna is shipped to market through the 1,200 kilometer Langeled pipeline, mostly to the U.K.'s Easington gas terminal.

Operator Shell owns around 17% of Ormen Lange, ExxonMobil has 7%, Dong AS 10%, StatoilHydro just under 30% and Petoro a little over 36%. The field starting producing gas in September 2007.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.