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A possible expansion of Statoil’s Snøhvit (Snow White) project in the Barents Sea offshore Norway will not go ahead at this time as the operator and its partners have concluded that the license’s current level of gas discoveries do not provide sufficient reserves for the expansion.
The license owners have decided to stop their work on the possible capacity increase on the onshore Melkøya plant and said they have not determined whether LNG or a pipeline solution is the best concept for a potential capacity increase at a future date.
Over the last 18 months, the license partners have carried out studies for the expansion of the gas export capacity from Melkøya, Statoil said in a news release. The increased capacity would enable the accelerated gas production of increased reserves in the Snøhvit license, together with existing discoveries in the area.
“Thorough studies have been carried out of both an LNG train II and a dew-point facility/pipeline solution, and the Snøhvit license has devoted considerable resources to finding solutions that could make a capacity expansion profitable. The pipeline solution was studied in collaboration with Gassco.
“The possibility of producing increased reserves in existing trains has been an alternative throughout the process, in addition to the two concepts for capacity increase. With new gas discoveries increased capacity may again be considered,” it stated in the release.
The license partners will in the immediate future now focus on optimizing and upgrading the existing LNG facility on Melkøya (Train I) and further developing Snøhvit through phases 2-4 for Train I.
“There will be major investments associated with phases 2-4, which include the development of Askeladd and a future compression solution,” said Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for development and production Norway at Statoil.
In total, the installation of five new subsea templates and a total of 12 production wells are planned.
Snøhvit was the first petroleum development in the Barents Sea, with the field’s gas transported via a 143 km (89 miles) pipeline to shore and cooled at the onshore LNG facility in Melkøya.
Partners in the license are: Statoil (36.79%, operator), Petoro (30%), Total E&P Norge (18.40%), GDF Suez E&P Norge (12%), and RWE Dea Norge (2.81%).