There are many gas discoveries, and associated gas in oil discoveries, that could possibly be developed in the Barents Sea. Investment cost in new infrastructure and distance to the market has been a bottleneck for years, awaiting a sought-after “elephant” discovery.
The report shows that it could be socio-economically profitable to increase the transport capacity for gas, thereby further increasing the value creation in the Barents Sea, the NPD states in a press release today.
Several undeveloped gas discoveries in the Barents Sea, and lack of available process capacity for the next 20 years(!) from the LNG plant at Melkøya in Hammerfest, highlights the need for other transportation opportunities from the Top of Europe. All process capacity at Melkøya is taken by the Snøhvit field. Today, the gas is transported by ship to the market.
Based on proven gas from discoveries alone, several gas transport alternatives could be profitable, undiscovered resources are not taken into account here.
Three scenarios towards 2030 are highlighted: today’s process capacity at the Melkøya LNG plant is kept, where undeveloped/new discoveries negotiate with the operator for potential tie-in. Or, a capacity increase at Melkøya can give (limited) access to proven discoveries at the plant’s processing. The third scenario increases gas processing capacity for processing and export in addition to the established LNG-plant atMelkøya, to give space for proven and undiscovered gas resources. Gas transport may be either as LNG or through a gas transport pipe system to the continent.
“An early capacity increase will facilitate more rapid development of proven gas resources, and at the same time lay the groundwork for more optimal production of oil with associated gas,” says Kjell Agnar Dragvik, NPD Director of Analyses and Framework.”
The report (in Norwegian) can be found here.
Text: TERJE SOLBAKK