FROM THE HANDOVER: From left Erlend Langklep, Ståle Søyland, Kjetil Myklebust, Kristin Kragseth, Arild Jørgensen, Synnøve Helland
The partnership in Snøhvit delivered on Tuesday 20 December 2022 plans for development and operation for Snøhvit Future to Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland. The Snøhvit partners Equinor (operator) Petoro, TotalEnergies, Neptune and Wintershall Dea are to invest NOK 13.2 billion in upgrades to Hammerfest LNG (HLNG) on Melkøya.
The project consists of gas compression and electrification, which will secure the future of HLNG. Onshore gas compression will provide sufficient flow from the reservoir to extend plateau production and maintain high gas exports from HLNG beyond 2030. Electrification will reduce CO2 emissions by around 850,000 tonnes per year.
CEO of Petoro, Kristin Kragseth, spoke on behalf of the partners and said, among other things: "Today we are delivering a plan for development and operation that is of both national and international importance. This is an significant contribution to us reaching our common climate goals, and this will also ensure prolonged high production from Snøhvit for a long time to come. The importance of Norwegian gas deliveries to Europe has never been greater than now. We cover around 30 % of European gas demand. A good part comes from Snøhvit. Today we are celebrating two initiatives that lead us into the future, both in terms of value creation and as a contribution to the green shift."
Snøhvit Future strengthens Norway's position as a reliable and long-term supplier of LNG to Europe. Electrification will mean that the gas can be delivered with almost zero greenhouse gas emissions from production. The project ensures long-term operation and exports from Melkøya towards 2050. At normal production, HLNG delivers 18.4 million standard cubic meters of gas per day, or 6.5 billion cubic meters per year. This corresponds to the energy needs of around 6.5 million European households, or 5% of all Norwegian gas exports.
Facts about Snøhvit Future
The licence owners of Snøhvit are: Equinor Energy ASA (36.79%), Petoro AS (30.00%), TotalEnergies EP Norge AS (18.40%), Neptune Energy Norge AS (12.00%) and Wintershall Dea Norge AS (2.81%).
The Snøhvit field lies in the central part of the Hammerfest basin in the southern part of the Barents Sea. The water depth is 310 – 340 metres. Snøhvit was proven in 1984, and the original plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 2002.
Snøhvit was the first field to be developed in the Barents Sea. The field comprises the Snøhvit, Albatross and Askeladd structures.
Snøhvit Future Project consists of two developments: Snøhvit Onshore Compression and Snøhvit Electrification.
The development covers: 1) the onshore compressor, transformer station and electric steam boilers on Melkøya, 2) the grid connection including a transforming station at Hyggevatn, and 3) the development of new power capacity from Skaidi to Hammerfest.
Onshore compression will help maintain sufficient inlet pressure for the LNG plant as the reservoir pressure drops. It will also reduce the risk of accumulation of fluid liquids in the long multiphase pipeline from field to shore. This will give a longer operational window and extend plateau production.
Electrification of Melkøya will minimise emissions from LNG production, leading to an annual emission reduction of close to 850,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions from 450,000 fossil-fuelled (ICE) cars.
It will reduce the carbon footprint from LNG production at Melkøya from 3.8 to 0.6 g CO2e/MJ.
Emissions reductions from HLNG meet the requirements stated in the authorities’ approval of the plan for development and operation of Snøhvit from 2002.
Onshore compression and conversion to electrical operation of HLNG are scheduled to start in 2028.
Facts about Hammerfest LNG
Hammerfest LNG is Europe’s first large-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant and is located on the island of Melkøya outside Hammerfest.
Coming on stream in 2007, the plant is a cornerstone in the Finnmark region, employing around 500 people, including apprentices and contractors.
The plant contributes strongly to value creation and activity through the use of local suppliers and purchase of services. In 2021, work equivalent to 2171 full-time positions was carried out (turnover: NOK 5 540 million) in the northernmost counties, of which 1401 full-time equivalents (turnover NOK 3 649 million) were in the Hammerfest region.
HLNG produces 4.65 million tonnes of LNG, 0.34 million tonnes of LPG and 0.73 million tonnes of condensate per year. (LNG = liquefied natural gas, LPG = liquefied petroleum gas).
Hammerfest LNG produces around 6.5 billion cubic metres per year at normal production, equivalent to the annual gas demand of 6.5 million European homes.
Recovery and transport to shore are carried out from the Snøhvit, Albatross and Askeladd fields. The gas arrives at the plant via a 143 km pipeline. At the plant, the natural gas is processed and cooled to minus 163 degrees, after which it is stored in dedicated tanks before shipment. All products (LNG, LPG, and condensates) are exported by vessels or vehicles.
Facts about the development solution
The development project will involve major constructions on the island of Melkøya and on the mainland.
Three modules will be constructed: a module for a feed gas compressor, a module for electrical steam boilers and a transformer station.
High voltage cables will connect Melkøya to Hyggevatn substation. A tunnel will be constructed beneath the seabed to lead a power cable from Melkøya to Meland.
The grid capacity to Hammerfest will increase thanks to the new grid reinforcement planned by Statnett between Hyggevatn and Skaidi.
For 15 years, one of the world’s most energy-efficient LNG plants has delivered liquefied natural gas to customers all over the world. 350 permanent employees ensure stable and safe operations, and Bodø Science Park has proven that the actual ripple effects in North Norway are around 2,000 full-time equivalents.
The project will secure important jobs for decades to come, representing a continuation of this major industrial adventure, both in the project phase and the operations phase.
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