|Snøhvit is the first gas project in the Barents Sea. Click to enlarge.|
The Snøhvit gas field in the Barents Sea has started production. The Snøhvit project is the first gas development in the Barents Sea and also involves the construction of the first LNG plant in Arctic conditions. Snøhvit also represents the first large-scale LNG project in Europe.
There are no above-surface platforms or floating production units for Snøhvit—all the field work and CO2 injection is done by subsea installations, remote-controlled from shore.
Statoil, which holds a 33.53% interest, operates the project. Other shareholders are Petoro (30%), Total (18.4%), Gaz de France (12%), Hess (3.26%) and RWE-DEA (2.81%).
|Snøhvit production and CO2 injection is handled by subsea platforms. Click to enlarge.|
Natural gas produced offshore in water 310-340 meters deep on the Snøhvit field is sent onshore through a 143 kilometer multiphase pipeline to a 4.2 million tonnes per year liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant at Melkøya, near Hammerfest, in northern Norway, where it is processed. The LNG will be shipped to European and US markets. Approximately 700,000 tonnes per year of CO2 will be captured from an estimated total 860,000 tonnes per year produced and be re-injected in a Snøhvit field reservoir.
Contractual LNG deliveries are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2007. Gas production is expected to ramp up to a plateau in 2008 of nearly 5.7 billion cubic metres per year (550 million cubic feet per day). Nearly 23,000 barrels per day of condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) will also be produced at plateau in the Melkøya plant.
|The Arctic basins for petroleum reserves. Click to enlarge.|
According to USGS estimates, some 25% of the remaining petroleum reserves are in the Arctic region. North Africa, the Caspian Sea and the Middle East account for another 50%, and the remaining 25% is scattered across the rest of the world.
Petroleum Resources as the Major Petroleum Resources as the Major Driving Force in the Arctic (Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy)