New type of pipe to be used in Norwegian gas field

Statoil ASA is to use a new type of welded pipe, costing 20% less than conventional seamless pipe, for the Kvitebjørn oil pipeline, which will be laid between the Kvitebjørn gas and condensate field and Troll Oil Pipeline II in the North Sea.

LONDON, Jan. 21 -- Statoil ASA is to use a new type of welded pipe, costing 20% less than conventional seamless pipe, for the Kvitebjørn oil pipeline, which will be laid between the Kvitebjørn gas and condensate field and Troll Oil Pipeline II in the North Sea.

The contract, which has been placed by Corus Group, the Anglo-Dutch producer, is worth around 100 million kroner. It includes the manufacture of 90 km of 16-in. steel pipe. The order is for high frequency longitudinally welded pipe, not seamless, which is usual for this dimension of pipe.

Jostein Breivik, coordinator for the pipelines in the Kvitebjørn project, said that pipe manufactured in this way has already been tested on the Norwegian continental shelf, but not by Statoil.

The lengths of pipe are made by applying high-frequency alternating current during the welding. Consequently, it is not necessary to use flux. The contract for the installation of the oil pipeline will be placed in May, said Breivik.

The Kvitebjørn condensate will be transported in the Kvitebjørn oil pipeline via Troll Oil Pipeline II to the Statoil-operated Mongstad terminal near Bergen for storage and export. The rich gas will go through a separate pipeline to the Kollsnes plant, where fluids will be separated and sent for treatment at the Vestprosess plant at Mongstad.

The gas will be piped to customers in continental Europe.

The Kvitebjørn field should come on stream in the autumn of 2004. It is in Block 34/11 covered by production license 193. That license was awarded in 1993, and reserves were proven in 1994. Government approval for production was given in June 2000.

The development plan includes a fixed production platform where gas and condensate will be separated. Estimated recoverable reserves are 56.5 billion cu m of gas, 19.3 million cu m of condensate, and 500,000 tonnes of natural gas liquids.

Statoil is operator with 40% of the project, the state holding company Petoro holds 40%, Norsk Hydro AS 15%, and TotalFinaElf Norge AS 5%.

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