Gassco makes case for increasing gas transport from Barents Sea

Gassco, a Norwegian state-owned natural gas pipelines operator, has drawn up a report regarding the transport of gas from the southern Barents Sea, showing that it could be profitable to increase the transport capacity for gas.

Melkøya, Hammerfest
Melkøya, Hammerfest; Credit: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor

Gassco on Monday presented the report, “Evaluation of gas transport alternatives in the Barents Sea South”, to Minister of Petroleum and Energy Sylvi Listhaug on Monday. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) also contributed in the preparation of the report.

The objective was to prepare a broad and up-to-date factual basis in order to assess the opportunities for greater value creation associated with increased transport capacity for gas from the southern Barents Sea.

Gassco’s report on transporting more gas from Barents Sea South shows that expanding today’s capacity can lay the basis for further value creation from Norway’s petroleum resources, Gassco said in a statement on Monday.

Gas from existing fields and discoveries could give added value if increased transport and processing capacity can be successfully established for this part of the Norwegian continental shelf, the company added.

The NPD noted that gas export from the Barents Sea currently only takes place via the Snøhvit LNG plant on Melkøya.

Gassco stated that a number of alternatives had been assessed, including enhanced capacity for the Melkøya gas liquefaction facility and exports by liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier or pipeline.

According to the NPD, current capacity at the Melkøya LNG plant will be fully utilized through 2050 based on volumes from fields in operation and from discoveries under development.

Frode Leversund, CEO of Gassco, said: “Establishing new gas infrastructure in the Barents Sea would require cooperation across production licences, and it’s therefore important to maintain the extensive collaboration between the players in these waters.”

“The analyses in our report provide a detailed and updated factual basis for further work in this region.”

Unlike earlier studies, these analyses show that several gas transport options could prove profitable with proven resources alone. Including undiscovered resources would also make larger solutions economic.

An important contribution to profitability is that natural gas transport solutions established as a consequence of oil production would facilitate optimum reservoir development and help to ensure a high and rapid socioeconomic return.

The NPD director general, Ingrid Sølvberg, said: “New infrastructure could also contribute to a stronger drive for further exploration in the Barents Sea South area.”

“This report will be used as a basis for maturing projects to expand gas transport capacity from the Barents Sea,” observes Leversund.

“Together with the commercial players, we’ll now take this work forward.”

Gassco’s full report is available here.


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