UPDATE 1-Statoil shuts Sleipner B, transit intact

Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:11pm GMT

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* Shuts wellhead facility at Sleipner West after gas alarm

* Minor production impact, gas transit unaffected

(Adds details, quotes)

OSLO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Norway's Statoil (STL.OL) said it shut on Friday its Sleipner B platform in the North Sea after a gas alarm, but its main gas transit operations at the Sleipner hub remain unaffected.

"The gas transport via the Sleipner field is undisturbed by this and gas production to the Sleipner A platform is normal," said Gisle Johanson, spokesman at Statoil.

Johansen said the production impact of the Sleipner B shutdown was limited. He did not offer any timeframe for restart of the wellhead facility.

Sleipner is a hub for a number of North Sea gas pipelines, including the Langeled link to Britain, as well as links to France and Belgium.

The Sleipner West gas field in the southern part of the North Sea is developed with a wellhead facility, Sleipner B, which is remotely operated from Sleipner A on the Sleipner East field, and processing facility, Sleipner T, which is bridge connected to Sleipner A.

Processed gas from Sleipner West goes to Sleipner A for further export. Sleipner West produced around 7.41 billion cubic metres of gas in 2008.

(Reporting by Oslo newsroom)