OSLO -- StatoilHydro has decided to bring forward the repairs to the Kvitebjørn pipeline. The company plans to perform the repairs in 1Q 2009.
The Kvitebjørn rich gas pipeline, which runs from the Kvitebjørn platform in the North Sea to Kollsnes processing plant outside Bergen, was closed Aug. 20 following the discovery of a minor gas leakage from the pipe.
The gas leak was discovered during a routine inspection of the pipeline in connection with start-up after a scheduled shutdown. The leak is in the same place as the pipe was damaged last year by a ship's anchor, roughly 10 km (6.2 mi) from the platform.
The pipe was qualified for temporary use in January 2008 pending permanent repairs scheduled for summer 2009.
StatoilHydro has reassessed alternative repair solutions and plans to start repairs to the pipeline at the turn of the year. If the primary repair solution is successful, StatoilHydro expects production to resume by the end of 1Q 2009.
If it is necessary to change the repair strategy, start-up will probably will take place around June 1, 2009, the company says.
Until repairs start, Kvitebjørn will continue with the planned drilling program as well as with scheduled maintenance work.
The Visund field also usually uses the Kvitebjørn pipeline for gas exports. This gas is now being reinjected into the reservoir. Oil production on Visund is being maintained, but at a lower level than usual.