Shell's Ormen Lange gas field output hit by plant glitch

OSLO Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:51am EDT

Snow covered Shell logo is seen at a petrol station in Istanbul February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Snow covered Shell logo is seen at a petrol station in Istanbul February 17, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Osman Orsal

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OSLO (Reuters) - Output from Royal Dutch Shell's (RDSa.L) Ormen Lange gas field in Norway has dropped due to technical problems at a processing plant that supplies gas to Britain, the country's gas system operator said on Saturday.

Output from the 70 million cubic meter (mcm) capacity Nyhamna plant that processes gas from Ormen Lange before it is shipped to Britain was reduced by 30 mcm, gas system operator Gassco said on its website.

Shell was not immediately available to comment.

The Nordic power bourse said in a statement that the plant's power consumption dropped to just 20 megawatts, a fraction of the installed 200 MW, at around 0914 GMT on Saturday.

Nyhamna gets all of its power from the national grid, and major falls in its power consumption indicate falls or halts in production.

The bourse said the outage at Nyhamna was expected to last until 1000 GMT on Sunday, while Gassco did not provide a possible duration.

Outages at the plant can affect gas flows through the Langeled pipeline, the UK's main subsea gas import route. Data from Gassco has not showed impact yet.

Flows to Britain totalled 16.8 mcm at 1138 GMT, including 14.4 mcm in supplies through the Langeled.

Norwegian gas flows to Britain dropped last week to their lowest this year due to maintenance work at the St. Fergus receiving terminal.

The Ormen Lange gas field produced 21.7 billion cubic meters of gas last year, around a fifth of Norway's output.

Norway is Europe's second-biggest gas supplier after Russia.

The partners in the field are Shell (17.04 percent), ExxonMobil (XOM.N) (7.23 percent), Norway's Statoil (STL.OL) (28.92 percent), Denmark's DONG DONG.UL (10.34 percent) and Norwegian state-owned firm Petoro (36.48 percent).

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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