Statoil awards Kvitebj�rn drilling package

Norway's Statoil AS said Wednesday it has awarded a 930 million kroner contract to Heerema T�nsberg for the drilling package for a platform to be installed at Kvitebj�rn gas-condensate field in the Norwegian North Sea. The contract involves engineering, procurement, and construction of two modules with a combined weight of about 3,000 tonnes.


Norway's Statoil AS said Wednesday it has awarded a 930 million kroner contract to Heerema T�nsberg for the drilling package for a platform to be installed at Kvitebj�rn gas-condensate field in the Norwegian North Sea. The contract involves engineering, procurement, and construction of two modules with a combined weight of about 3,000 tonnes.

Heerema T�nsberg has formed a permanent alliance with Rig Design Services (RDS) and Hydralift in Kristiansand to deliver the package to Kvitebj�rn field. RDS will be responsible for designing the drilling equipment, with part of the work due to be done in London, while Hydralift will handle equipment procurement. Other engineering and construction work will be carried out in the Heerema T�nsberg yard south of Oslo, as will completion and testing, including a drilling test on land before the modules are delivered.

This contract is the last of the major assignments for the Kvitebj�rn development. The topsides work went to Umoe Olje og Gass, the quarters module to Leirvik Sveis AS, and the jacket to Aker Verdal AS. Construction of the platform has an overall price tag of about 5 billion kroner.

Kvitebj�rn is due to come on stream in the autumn of 2004. Statoil's partners in the field are Norsk Hydro AS and Elf Petroleum Norge, an affiliate of TotalFinaElf SA.

Norway's sales commitments
Gas from Kvitebj�rn field in the North Sea will help meet Norway's sales commitments starting in 2004. The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy recommended the use of Kvitebj�rn gas to the advisory Gas Supply Committee (FU).

The allocation means that Kvitebj�rn gas is assured of a sales outlet from start of production until 2014, says Morten Nesvik, business development manager for the project. At the same time, it commits the field licensees to deliver a total volume of 49 billion cu m during the period.

"As a result of the gas allocation, we can produce at plateau�in other words, 6.5 billion cu m/year�until 2009. That's in line with the platform's design capacity," said Nesvik.

Kvitebj�rn is one of 10 Norwegian offshore licenses that applied to the FU for allocation to a gas sales contract last December. Only Kvitebj�rn has been offered an allocation at this time. However, the ministry has asked the FU to make a new assessment by Sept. 1 on allocation needs for projects that are scheduled to begin by a specific time.

A total of 1.460 trillion cu m of Norwegian gas has been committed under sales deals with European customers during 1999-2029. Following the allocation to Kvitebj�rn, fields capable of delivering 1.11 trillion cu m have so far been nominated to supply these contracts.

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