TANANGER, Norway – ConocoPhillips Norge has commemorated 40 years of gas deliveries from the Ekofisk field in the southern Norwegian North Sea.
First gas traveling south through the offshoreNorpipe line reached the NorSea Gas Terminal at Emden on German’s north coast on Sept. 17, 1977.
This was Norway’s debut as a gas exporter to the European market.
In the 1970s, bringing the oil and gas to shore in Norway was not technically feasible, the company says, mainly because the Norwegian Trench was too deep to cross with a pipeline at that time, so the end station for Norpipe’s 443-km (275-mi), 36-in. gas line was sited at Emden.
Construction started during the fall of 1973. Until the terminal was opened four years later, gas from Ekofisk was re-injected into the reservoir.
In 1973, Norwegian Phillips Group signed the first gas sales agreement for the Norwegian shelf with a consortium comprising German’s Ruhrgas, Belgium’s Distrigaz, Gaz de France, and Gasunie in the Netherlands.
The new pipeline was the world’s longest welded pipe structure, with two compressor platforms for pressure support.
ConocoPhillips operated both pipeline and the terminal for a time, then briefly in the Gasport joint venture with Statoil. Over the last decade, state-owned Gassco has operated the pipeline and the terminal in Emden on behalf of Gassled.
In May 2016, a new reception terminal opened in Emden, designed to receive and distribute gas from fields in the Greater Ekofisk Area and others offshore Norway that export their gas through Norpipe.
To date more than 250 bcm of dry gas have passed through the Norpipe system to Emden.