(Adds consultancy comment, detail)
By Lefteris Karagiannopoulos
OSLO, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Maintenance at Norway’s natural gas fields and processing plants is scheduled to cut production capacity by some 7 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2019, more than in recent years, data from system operator Gassco and analysts showed on Friday.
Outage plans for offshore fields and onshore processing plants in the following year are published in the fourth quarter, and while it is subject to revision, the 2019 schedule should be viewed as a complete plan, Gassco told Reuters.
Last year, Gassco transported a record 117.4 bcm through the pipeline systems from Norway to continental Europe and Britain.
The scope of outages announced for 2019 is 3 bcm bigger than that of 2017, a year of exceptionally low maintenance, and is also expected to be higher than that of 2018, consultancy Energy Aspects said.
When Gassco published outage plans for 2018, in December 2017, they amounted to 3.2 bcm, but said that number was only partial. The overall number will definitely be lower than 7 bcm however, said Trevor Sikorski, head of natural gas and carbon at Energy Aspects.
Norway’s largest gas field Troll will undergo maintenance between April and September, with August and September the months with the highest maintenance impact for the field.
Kollsnes, the country’s largest processing plant and a major exporting facility to Britain, will also undergo major maintenance, with the heaviest part taking place between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5, when capacity will be reduced by 146.5 million cubic metres per day. (Editing by Terje Solsvik and Mark Potter)