Ormen Lange, Kaarstoe Plant Back in Business

According to Dow Jones Newswires, operators Royal Dutch Shell and Gassco have restarted production operations at Norway's Ormen Lange gas field and Kaarstoe processing plant, respectively.

Shell halted its production at the massive Ormen Lange field following prolonged freezing weather in Europe, the report said. A Shell spokeswoman told Dow Jones, "I can confirm that production has been restarted [and] production is slowly being built up." She did not, however, confirm the field's current flow rate.

Located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in water depths ranging from 800 to 1,100 meters, Ormen Lange is the Europe's third-largest gas field with estimated recoverable reserves of 14 Tcf (397 Bcm) of natural gas. The field was discovered in 1997, and has a maximum production capacity of 70 million cubic meters of gas per day.

Additionally, the arctic air blasting through the North Sea froze pipes at Norway's Kaarstoe gas processing plant, at which operator Gassco curtailed production over the weekend.

Today, Gassco confirmed that the plant, which is located north of Stavanger and fed rich gas by the Statpipe and Asgard lines, as well as unstabilized condensate from Statoil's Sleipner Area, is ramping back up to full capacity. "Kaarstoe is on track to return to full capacity," Dow Jones quoted Gassco spokesman Kjell Varlo Larsen as saying.

The Kaarstoe plant is operating at around 60-70 million cubic meters of gas per day, or around 70% of normal capacity, the report noted.