Snohvit shut down for 30-day equipment exchange

StatoilHydro shut down production Oct. 4 from Snohvit field in the Barents Sea for 30 days to replace two heat exchangers at the Melkoya gas liquefaction plant-terminal near Hammerfest in northern Norway.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 8 -- StatoilHydro shut down production Oct. 4 from Snohvit field in the Barents Sea for 30 days to replace two heat exchangers at the Melkoya gas liquefaction plant-terminal near Hammerfest in northern Norway (see map, OGJ, June 16, 2008, p. 46).

The equipment to be removed from the facility was new when Snohvit came on stream in August 2007. Design criteria for the components have since changed, however, the company said. The new units are constructed to last for the producing life of the field, it said.

StatoilHydro will market a total of 4 billion cu m/year of gas at the field's full capacity (OGJ, Mar. 3, 2008, p. 11). The field also contains 113 million bbl of recoverable condensate, the company said.

The new heat exchangers, ordered in early 2008, could not be installed during the turnaround this summer because of a long delivery period.

Other various sized heat exchangers of the same type will be inspected during the shutdown in order to monitor their condition, StatoilHydro said.

The Snohvit project is Europe's first LNG export facility. The gas processing plant received first gas deliveries from Snohvit field on Aug. 21, 2007 (OGJ, Aug. 27, 2007, p. 10). Production, however, was delayed due to unexpected repairs to leaks in the cooling system (OGJ, Feb. 4, 2008, p. 10).

Interests in the project are operator StatoilHydro with 33.53%, Petoro SA 30%, Total E&P Norge 18.4%, Gaz de France 12%, Amerada Hess Norge 3.26%, and RWE Dea Norge 2.81%.

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