Statoil plans to pump an additional NOK20 billion (nearly US$2.9 billion) in its Hammerfest LNG plant in Melkoya to increase its production capacity, Norwegian news service NRK has reported.
A new pipeline and compression facility are envisioned for the plant. The additions are intended to boost the plant's operational life from 2035 to 2050 and allow it to source three of Statoil’s Barents Sea fields-Snohvit, Askeladd and Albatross.
The plan is to connect Albatross and then Askelaad. Hammerfest LNG currently processess gas from Snohvit, which is the first development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to produce without any surface facilities.
Statoil Production Manager Knut Gjertsen told NRK that the company produces a lot of gas each year, and needed new, stable production sources.
The Melkoya plant was built in 2007, and received substantial upgrades in 2009. On 5 January 2014, production was halted over a weekend when a leak was detected in a pump in the processing facility. At the time of the incident, Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) called the leak "substantial."
In 2012, three seperate incidents interrupted production: a power failure, an ingression of water into the plant's natural gas dryers, and a ruptured firewater line. On 2 October of that same year, Snohvit’s license-holders decided against a proposed capacity increase after, according to Statoil, an 18-month study “concluded that the current gas discoveries do not provide sufficient basis for further capacity expansion.”
Statoil and the PSA were not immediately available at the time of this writing.
Photo: Harald Pettersen / Statoil