OSLO -- A small leak has been discovered in the gas pipeline between the Kvitebjørn platform and the Kollsnes gas treatment facility outside Bergen, according to StatoilHydro.
In the autumn of 2007, the pipeline was dragged out of position by a ship's anchor. In January this year, the pipeline was qualified for temporary use pending a permanent repair. The company decided to make a permanent repair in 2009.
The leak that has been discovered is in the same place as the pipeline was damaged last fall, around 10 km (6.2 mi) from the platform.
StatoilHydro will now consider various repair solutions for the Kvitebjørn pipeline. On this basis, it will be decided when operation of the pipeline and the Kvitebjørn field can be resumed.
Turnaround operations are presently being carried out at Kvitebjørn and Kollsnes and the pressure in the pipeline has been reduced accordingly. The pipeline will now be further depressurized and emptied via flaring at Kollsnes.
The Visund platform also normally uses the Kvitebjørn pipeline for gas export, but has re-injected gas during the turnaround at Kvitebjørn and Kollsnes.
According to the company, the shutdown of the rich gas pipeline between Kvitebjørn and Kollsnes will impact StatoilHydro's production for the remainder of the year.
Visund will continue to inject gas during the shutdown and liquids will be produced. Kvitebjørn liquids and gas production will be shut down.