Gas pipes in the north can be profitable

picture of gas pipesIllustration.Kollsnes. (NTB-foto: Marit Hommedal) oljeindustri

New analyses from Gassco show that it may be profitable to develop a gas pipeline to the Barents Sea. Oil and Energy Minister Sylvi Listhaug is celebrating.

In the new report, Gassco looks at how Norway can transport more of the gas from the Barents Sea.

The conclusion is that it may be profitable to expand capacity, Gassco chief Frode Leversund said when he handed over the report to Oil and Energy Minister Sylvi Listhaug (FrP) on Monday.

“What we have said in the report is that both an expansion of the capacity of Melkøya and a pipeline can be good solutions. It is too early to conclude whether one is better than the other,” says Leversund to NTB.

Gassco’s recommendation is that both alternatives should now be investigated further.

Hoping for more exploration
Listhaug calls the report exciting news. Her hope is that a gas expansion in the north will make it more attractive for companies to conduct exploration for new discoveries.

“Now the companies involved in this area, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (Oljedirektoratet) and Gassco will continue to work on these plans. I hope you find that it is profitable for the country and it makes sense to do so, if it means that we can utilize the resources that are up there,” Listhaug told NTB.

She does not want to see that such oil and gas developments should now belong to the past.

“Even if we reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, which we hope to do, the world will need a lot of oil and gas in the future as well. That is why it is important for us to produce, especially us who produce cleaner than many other countries.”

Fully utilized
Today the situation is that the capacity of the existing LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant on Melkøya will be fully utilized for the next 20 years with the gas from Snøhvit alone. If Norway is to extract more of the gas, new transport capacity must therefore be developed.

A number of options may be relevant:

* The capacity of the LNG plant on Melkøya can be increased.

* A new LNG plant can be built.

* A processing plant can be developed in connection with the LNG plant at Melkøya

* A gas pipeline can be developed for the Barents Sea, which will be connected to the pipeline system already in place in the Norwegian Sea.

Profitable with today’s discoveries
Contrary to previous studies, Gassco’s new analyses show that several of the alternatives may be profitable based only on the resources already detected.

But profitability increases if more is discovered, Gassco states.

“There is certainly upside potential in undiscovered resources in the southern Barents Sea,” says Leversund to NTB.

He is careful to include the word “southern.” The Gassco chief does not want to think about the opportunities that may lie further north in the Barents Sea, in areas that the Storting has so far not opened for exploration for oil and gas.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today


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