Production Resumed at Kvitebjørn

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gas exports from the Kvitebjørn field in the North Sea started on 27 January, after successful repairs to the gas pipeline between the platform and the Kollsnes processing plant near Bergen.

The repair work has gone according to plan and the subsequent testing has shown that the pipeline is now ready for use. The Kvitebjørn platform could therefore resume production of gas and condensate on 27 January.

The Visund field, which uses the same pipeline, has also resumed gas exports.

Kvitebjørn has been shut down since 20 August 2008 when a gas leak was discovered during a routine inspection of the pipeline.

The leak arose in the part of the pipeline that was damaged by a ship's anchor in the autumn of 2007. The fracture spot lies at a depth of 689 ft, about 33 ft from the platform.

The pipeline was repaired by inserting a new section of pipe in the damaged area and connecting it to the pipeline with the help of two Morgrip pipe connectors which seal the coupling.

"This is the first time a pipeline has been repaired in such deep water by a remotely controlled operation," says Ronny Larsen, vice president for Kvitebjørn operations.

Favorable weather conditions in November and December helped the installation work to proceed without any major obstacles.

Experience from the Kvitebjørn repair job will be carried forward in the general emergency response work on the Norwegian continental shelf and will serve as an important knowledge base for future pipeline repairs.

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