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Troll Future Development

By letter 18 October 2007, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy informed the licensees of the Troll field that a Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) of Troll Future Development that is based on the premise of accelerated gas production would not be approved. Such accelerated gas production would reduce the possibility to recover large volumes of oil from the field.

19/10/2007 :: -Norway has a long tradition of ensuring a balanced recovery of oil and gas from the fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Ekofisk, Oseberg and Åsgard, in addition to Troll, are fields that have been subject to regulation of the rate of production by Norwegian authorities towards this end. The decision regarding Troll is therefore a continuation of the sound and sustainable resource management of the oil and gas fields in Norway, says Åslaug Haga, Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

The Troll field can produce large volumes of oil and gas over a long period of time. The field holds about 10 % of the oil and gas on the Norwegian Shelf. Troll is by far the largest gas field – four times the size of Ormen Lange. Troll has also become one of the largest oil fields on the Shelf.

The Troll Licensees established a process for the future development of Troll with the aim to submit a Plan for Development and Operations in January 2008. The task was to evaluate whether it was possible to increase the gas production without reducing the possibilities to recover large volumes of oil. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has followed the licensees’ work closely.

The studies done by the NPD show a large potential for increased oil recovery from the Troll field. The NPD is of the opinion that accelerated gas production, as planned in TFD, will lead to a direct loss of oil of around 65 million barrels. In addition, the project involved increased gas production which can adversely affect the oil recovery in the long term. If the oil is not given priority, a loss of up to 600 million barrels of oil for the duration of the Troll field could be the result. On this basis, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has recommended the Ministry not to approve a PDO that involves increased gas production from Troll.

Yesterday, the Ministry informed the Licensees of the Troll field that a PDO for Troll Future Development that is based on the premise of accelerated gas production would not be approved. The preparation of a PDO is costly. By informing the Licensees of the decision, the Ministry aims to avoid any unnecessary costs in this project.

A group of companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf have studied the possibility of a new pipeline from Norway to either the UK, the Netherlands or Belgium – the so called Gas Network Expansion project (GNE).  The basis for this project has been a possible early increase in gas production from the Troll field combined with gas from fields off the coast of Mid-Norway. The GNE-project has been led by Gassco. On the basis of a discontinuation of the TFD project, Gassco will recommend that the GNE-project is discontinued.

Gassco is the operator of the gas transportation system and continuously evaluates alternatives for new infrastructure development. In particular, Gassco is aware of the need for transportation of gas from the Norwegian Sea and they have studied alternatives in parallel with the GNE project. 

-Norway is an important and stable supplier of gas to Europe. Norwegian exports supplies around 16 % of European gas consumption. The discontinuation of Troll Future Development does not alter the fact that Norwegian gas production will continue to increase substantially from today’s level of about 86 BCM to 125-140 BCM per year within the next decade, says the Minister of Petroleum and Energy.

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