Discoveries May Build Norway's New Petro Hub
Prospect of a new petroleum province in the north in the Barents Sea appears bright in the wake of significant discoveries recently in the frontier region and may see laying of a new Norwegian sea pipeline, country's foreign minister Jonas Gahr Store said.
The new discoveries that include Statoil’s landmark Skrugard oil and gas find earlier this year and the more recent Norvarg and Skalle gas strikes, could play a decisive role in unlocking the value creation potential of the region, he said on Wednesday.
In fact, Norwegian gas trunkline operator Gassco has been working with 11 other oil companies towards concept selection for a new Norwegian Sea pipeline later this year, a final investment decision of which is due in 2012.
A new gas pipeline would be a “decisive” factor for development of a new European gas region where the lone operational project is currently that of Statoil’s Snohvit gas field and associated LNG scheme.
However, Gassco's plans to extend the transport network farther hinge on more discoveries. "If significant finds are made, and their development becomes profitable, it'll open huge possibility of economic and industrial progress and Norway will prolong its position as a key supplier of gas to Europe,” Store said at a regional conference.
Store's comments almost echo the key theme of an energy policy white paper unveiled earlier this year in which Oil & Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe highlighted the government's stand on pushing more capital and competence to the north to establish a new petro hub.
President Brian Bjordal also emphasized the need for a larger resource base in order to implement a Barents pipeline.
According to Store, recent ratification of a maritime border treaty with Russia in a formerly disputed region in the southern Barents represented a ”milestone” that could pave the way for more exploration in the area.
Source: RIA Novosti