September 13, 2007 / 10:47 AM / in 12 years

FACTBOX-Norway's Ormen Lange gas field comes on stream

(For related story see NORWAY ORMEN/LANGE [ID:nL13518391]

Sept 13 (Reuters) - The Ormen Lange gas field, Norway’s biggest petroleum project, came on stream on Thursday, development phase operator Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL) said.

The following are key facts about the field which has taken 10 years and about $11 billion to develop.

* Following a gradual increase in production over the first 2-3 years, the field will produce 70 million standard cubic metres of gas per 24-hour period, enough to cover up to 20 percent of Britain’s gas needs. It will also produce 6,000-8,500 scm of oil condensate per day.

* Recoverable reserves are estimated at 397 billion standard cubic metres of gas, making Ormen Lange Norway’s second-biggest gas field after Statoil’s STL.OL Troll.

* Ormen Lange’s resources include 28.5 million scm of oil condensate, which will be siphoned off and loaded on ships at the onshore processing plant at Nyhamna on Norway’s west coast.

* The gas will be exported through the 1,200 km (746 mile) Langeled pipeline — the world’s longest subsea link — to a reception centre in Easington on the east coast of England.

* Located in the southern part of the Norwegian Sea, the field is 120 km northwest of Nyhamna, a remote coastal village. The reservoir covers an area roughly 40 km long and 10 km wide, around 3,000 metres below the sea surface.

* The field has been developed with remote controlled sea-floor installations some 800 to 1,100 metres below sea level, because traditional concrete platforms would be unstable at such depths.

* Anti-freeze is added to ensure the gas does not thicken on its way to Nyhamna because seabed temperatures drop to minus 1 Celsius (30 Fahrenheit) in the field near the Arctic circle.

* Three million tonnes of concrete were used to build a “seabed highway” for a pipeline from the field to Nyhamna, over the steep Storegga slide — the site of the world’s biggest undersea avalanche some 8,200 years ago that created 15-metre tidal waves that hit Britain after crossing the North Sea.

* Shell (RDSa.L) will take over as Ormen Lange production phase operator in October. Shell has 17.04 percent of the licence, Danish DONG 10.34 percent, U.S. major Exxon (XOM.N) 7.23 percent, Norwegian state-owned Petoro 36.48 percent and Hydro and its merger partner Statoil a combined 28.91 percent.

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