Statoil starts Gullfaks gas pipeline in North Sea

Norway's state-owned oil and gas company Statoil AS have started the gas export line that eventually will supply 25 million cu m/day from the Gullfaks area in the Norwegian North Sea to the Statpipe trunkline for transport to Europe. The 35-km pipeline linking the Gullfaks A and C platforms on Block 34/10 with Statpipe will secure capacity and accommodate rising gas production from the entire Gullfaks area as oil output declines, said a Statoil spokeswoman. Gas deliveries from Gullfaks, until now exported via the Statfjord field to Statpipe, will rise from the current 13 million cu m/day to 20 million cu m/day in October. Statoil expects to reach plateau export levels in 2004. Development operations will continue until 2003, said Statoil. The first milestone will be to complete conversion work on Gullfaks C to ready it for gas production by Oct. 1, to be followed by an upgrade of the gas compressors on A. Within a few years, according to a Statoil, "a significant portion" of the gas piped to Statoil's gas treatment complex at Kårstø, which has capacity of 62 million cu m/day, will come from Gullfaks.