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Norway increases EU’s security of gas supplies

European Energy Commissioner Piebalgs welcomed today the inauguration of the Norwegian Ormen Lange gas field, which will bring new gas supply to Easingtone, UK. At full production, Ormen Lange is expected to meet 20 percent of the UK’s gas requirements for 30 – 40 years.

09/10/2007 :: “This project represents an essential contribution to the security of natural gas supply in the EU; furthermore, it demonstrates that technically challenging and environmentally sensible developments are possible in Europe, under fully competitive and open market conditions” declared Commissioner Piebalgs.

Due to stringent environmental requirements, the development of the field took 10 years at a cost of € 6.3 billion. The field was developed entirely on the sea bed at 1000 meters below sea level. Along with the Langeled pipeline and the land-based process plant at Nyhamna the project represents a major milestone for offshore ventures in rough, deep and sensible sea environments such as the Norwegian continental shelf. The 1200 km Langeled pipeline, which brings gas to the UK, is the world’s longest offshore pipeline. The venture was realised by a consortium of major Norwegian and EU oil companies.

Recoverable gas reserves from the field are estimated at 397 billion cubic meters (BCM). Exports to the UK and the European continent will be moderate at first, and increase over the build-up period to reach the plateau production of 70 million cubic meters of gas (25 BCM per year) and 50 000 barrels of condensate.

Global gas supplies to the EU from Norwegian fields are expected to increase in the coming years from today’s 85 BCM to 120 BCM per year according to some production scenarios.

The opening of Ormen Lange Saturday 6 September. From the left: Helge Lund, Tom Røtjer (Project Leader Ormen Lange), Åslaug Haga (Minister of Petroleum and Energy), Stephen Timms (Minister of Competitiveness, United Kingdom), Eivind Reiten (former Director General of Norsk Hydro) og Jeroen van der Veer (CEO of Shell). PHOTO: Shell.

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