Norway’s oil and gas major Equinor said on Monday that it had started production from the deepest subsea development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf—the Aasta Hansteen gas field, which will help boost Norway’s gas exports.
As of Monday, gas from the Aasta Hansteen field is available to the market for the first time, and together with the Polarled pipeline to the Nyhamna terminal, the field opens a new region for gas export to Europe, Equinor said.
Aasta Hansteen is located 300 kilometers (186 miles) west of Sandnessjøen, far from other fields and in an area with harsh weather conditions. Gas is produced from seven wells in three subsea templates in the deepest-ever installation of subsea equipment on the NCS. Aasta Hansteen gas is transported in the Polarled pipeline to the Nyhamna terminal for further export to the UK. Condensate produced at the field will be loaded into tankers and transported to the market, says Equinor, operator of the field with a 51-percent stake. Wintershall Norge AS with 24 percent, OMV (Norge) AS with a 15-percent interest, and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS with a 10-percent stake are the other licensees in the Aasta Hansteen field.
Aasta Hansteen and the 482-kilometre (300-mile) pipeline from the field to Nyhamna have the capacity to accommodate new discoveries. The first of them, Snefrid North, is already under development, and is expected come on stream at the end of 2019.
“Aasta Hansteen has been a complex and challenging development project, requiring us to take new technological steps together with our partners Wintershall, OMV and ConocoPhillips as well as the suppliers,” said Anders Opedal, Equinor’s executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling.
Norway may be a small oil producer in the global market, but it is the world’s third-largest exporter of natural gas, and meets around 25 percent of the gas demand in the European Union (EU). Most Norwegian gas sold on the European market is delivered to Germany, the UK, Belgium, and France, where Norwegian gas accounts for between 20 and 40 percent of total gas consumption.