500th LNG Cargo Leaves Snøhvit
- Kai-Otto Nilsen, Petter Fagerheim, Cato Osenbroch and Torfinn Isaksen with the special vessel Arctic Voyager in the background (Photo: Statoil)
- The special vessel Arctic Voyager at the Snøhvit plant in Hammerfest. (Photo: Statoil)
- Knut Gjertsen, vice president for operations on Snøhvit (Photo: Statoil)
- Geir Heitmann, Statoil vice president for LNG trading (Photo: Statoil)
Snøhvit cargo number 500 was loaded at Melkøya on Mondaym October 27, Statoil said. Since startup in 2007, more than NOK 80 billion worth of LNG has been dispatched from Melkøya. The special vessel Arctic Voyager is the 500th to visit Melkøya and Hammerfest to carry product from the Snøhvit plant. The vessel will freight a cargo of LNG from Melkøya, Norway to Aliaga, Turkey.
“This is a special day for the Snøhvit organization and for Statoil. A lot of hard work has gone into all these 500 cargoes,” said vice president for operations on Snøhvit Knut Gjertsen, who believes Snøhvit is a unique plant with its pioneering, new technology that has enabled the production and export of LNG from Hammerfest, the world’s northernmost town.
According to Statoil, Snøhvit is currently the most energy-efficient LNG plant in the world, with the lowest carbon emissions per unit produced.
Gjertsen added, “Snøhvit has also been a challenge. We’ve worked long and systematically on the plant, and with the organization, in order to stabilize operations. We are now beginning to see the results. During the past 15 months we’ve delivered our best results for safe and regular production. We work hard and systematically every single day to continue delivering good results.”
Statoil sells LNG to Europe, Asia and North and South America. The gas is transported in liquid form in special vessels that can sail across the Atlantic, through the Suez Canal, and even through the North-East Passage to get to gas markets.
An LNG vessel carries a cargo of substantial value and flexibility of destination means that there can be great value in optimizing a portfolio to exploit the different market prices prevailing in various regions.
“A single cargo may have a market value of around NOK 250 million, which means that even small price differentiation between markets can result in substantial added value for Statoil. That makes LNG trading an important way of maximizing the value of the Snøhvit gas,” said Statoil vice president for LNG trading Geir Heitmann.
LNG currently accounts for approximately 10% of the global gas market. In the years ahead, new LNG export projects will be completed in Australia, the U.S. and elsewhere, meaning LNG will be an increasingly important factor in balancing the global market and will have a considerable impact on the price of gas in different regions.