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Statoil's Luva to open up Norwegian Sea gas

Statoil has chosen a bold development plan for its Luva deep-water gasfield, which will see construction of a new gas-landing pipeline in northern waters and the country’s first use of a spar deep-water platform

Gas from the new area is to be landed to an expanded Nyhamna terminal, from which it will be exported through existing pipelines to continental Europe and the UK.

The Luva development, due on stream in 2016, will bring infrastructure to the Norwegian Sea’s remote Vøring basin, where other gas discoveries have been made and many blocks are seeing exploration (PE 10/10 p31). Statoil says reserves in Luva, together with the nearby Haklang and Snefrid South structures, to be developed with it, are in the range of 40 billion to 60 billion cubic metres (cm).

The company says RWE Dea’s Zidane field and Shell’s Linnorm field will be connected to the new pipeline initially. Zidane, discovered in 2010, is estimated by RWE Dea to hold 5 billion to 18 billion cm, while Linnorm is estimated by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate to hold 34 billion cm. Other possible tie-ins include Statoil’s Asterix discovery, 75 km west of Luva, and Total’s Victoria discovery, which lies on the pipeline route.

Luva will be Norway’s deepest-water development – the field lies in 1,300 metres of water – and it will use the first production spar-platform to be installed in northern waters. Worldwide, only 18 production spars have been built, the first in 1997, and all except one – on the Kikeh field, Malaysia – are in the US Gulf of Mexico.

A spar – a cylindrical buoyant structure, tethered to the seabed – has limited motion characteristics, allowing the use of surface wellheads. The Luva unit will have a processing capacity of 23 million cm/d, and will provide storage facilities for condensate. Subsea, there will be two templates with four wells each, and a single-well satellite template.

The new pipeline, known as Norwegian Sea Gas Infrastructure (NSGI), will be 480 km long and constructed in 30-36 inch-diameter line-pipe. Its route will take it close to the Åsgard Transport system and a connection between the two, at the Kristin platform, is being considered. This will allow gas from Åsgard Transport, which has little spare capacity, to be transferred to NSGI, freeing-up capacity to land gas from new fields in the Haltenbanken area, served by Åsgard Transport.

The Nyhamna processing facility, built for the Ormen Lange field, will have its 70 million cm/d capacity increased to accommodate the additional throughput. The Langeled export pipeline, running from Nyhamna to the UK’s Easington terminal, has spare capacity. Langeled connects to the Sleipner East hub, allowing gas to be transferred to pipelines delivering to Germany, Belgium and France. Interests in the Luva licence are Statoil, 75%, ExxonMobil, 15%, and ConocoPhillips, 10%.

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