War in Europe
Russia attacks Ukraine on 25 February 2022. The war has major consequences for the already strained European energy market. This geopolitical uncertainty resulted in record demand for Norwegian natural gas. Furthermore, the war in Ukraine also put questions of security of the energy supply on the agenda, both nationally and internationally.
Gassco Celebrates Its 20-Year Anniversary!
During the second half of the year, Europe was faced with a difficult energy situation with a changing energy system, record-high energy prices and unprecedented power demand in Europe. Norwegian natural gas has never played a more important role. 113.2 billion standard cubic metres of gas were transported through the pipeline system to Europe in 2021.
This was a year characterised by high activity on the shelf. Gassco noticed a significant increase in the number of projects and inquiries from new field developments wanting a connection to the gas infrastructure.
Gassco also started investigating how the gas infrastructure may be adapted to future energy needs, including looking into possibilities of transporting hydrogen and carbon.
Delivering Gas During the Pandemic
2020 was a difficult time for the whole world due to the covid-19 pandemic. Millions of people in Europe are dependent on Norwegian natural gas, and our most important task during the pandemic was to maintain safe, reliable and efficient operations under unprecedented conditions.
Gas deliveries to Europe were high throughout 2020. Not one cubic metre of natural gas was lost due to covid-19.
In 2020, the Norwegian government presented a package of measures to maintain activity in the oil, gas and supplier industries during the pandemic. This increased the number of requests to Gassco from companies wishing to find new infrastructure solutions from the Norwegian continental shelf to the market.
Norwegian Gas in Times of Change
An investment decision for the construction of the Baltic Pipe was made in 2019. The pipeline will stretch from the Norwegian continental shelf via Denmark to Poland and give new markets direct access to Norwegian gas. Norwegian gas will be important in Poland’s mission to phase out coal power.
The UK had its first week without coal in its energy supply in 2019, a development in which Norwegian gas played an important part. This shows that Norwegian gas is of great importance far beyond the country’s borders, by contributing to diversifying the energy supply to Europe.
Norwegian Gas is in High Demand
For the second year in a row, the demand for Norwegian gas is almost the same through summer and winter. Norwegian gas deliveries to Europe reached the second highest level of all time. Over 114 billion scm of gas were delivered through pipelines to Europe in 2018.
Gassco supplies approximately 25 percent of the gas quantities needed in the European energy market.
The Norwegian continental shelf is still under development. Polarled opened for Norwegian gas export at the end of the year. The pipeline crosses the Arctic Circle at sea and expands the existing transport system.
Clear Record Set for Norwegian Gas Exports
Forty years after Norway’s natural gas adventure began, Gassco solidly outstripped previous annual levels as a Norwegian supplier of gas to Europe.
Gassco transported 117.4 billion standard cubic metres (scm) og gas in 2017 through the pipeline system from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) to continental Europe and the UK. This was a solid increase of 8 percent from the previous year and set a clear record in volume for the four decades since Norwegian gas exports began.
Norwegian gas currently covers about a quarter of Europe’s gas consumption and will remain a secure energy source for consumers in the years to come.
New German Terminal for Norwegian Gas
The construction of a new receiving terminal for deliveries of Norwegian gas to Germany, one of the most important assignments Gassco has ever undertaken as the operator, is finished. The terminal in Emden receives a substantial share of Norway’s gas deliveries to Germany through the Norpipe pipeline.
Gassled decided in 2012 to invest in a new receiving terminal to replace the existing Norsea Gas Terminal (NGT). The new terminal was finished within the schedule and below budget.
While not increasing export capacity, the new Emden facility will help safeguard the deliveries of Norwegian gas to Germany in the long run.
Norwegian gas deliveries to Europe are the highest ever. A total of 108 billion standard cubic metres (scm) of gas is transported within Gassco’s operatorship from the NCS to terminals in Germany, Belgium, France and the UK. That represents an increase of no less than seven million scm from 2014.
Gassco aims to operate the integrated transport system for Norwegian gas so that customers in Europe enjoy secure and reliable deliveries. An average regularity of 99.38 percent is achieved for 2015, compared with 99.92 the year before.
A new record for daily gas production from the NCS was set on 22 November, at no less than 365.3 million scm.
Operator for New Pipeline
Gassco takes over the operatorship of the 177 kilometre pipeline which will transport rich gas from the Valemon field.
The 22-inch Valemon rich gas pipeline ties into the existing Huldra pipeline to the Heimdal field in the North Sea. Its technical capacity is 13 million standard cubic metres per day. Valemon is a gas and condensate field located about 10 kilometres west of Kvitebjørn in the northern part of Norway’s North Sea sector.
The Storting Approves Polarled
The Storting approves a plan for the installation and operation of Polarled, a gas pipeline that will link the Aasta Hansteeed field in the Norwegian Sea to the Nyhamna process plant in western Norway.
Polarled represents an expansion of the existing transport system and will facilitate the phasing-in of resources from existing and future discoveries in the Norwegian Sea. The pipeline sits 1300 metres below sea level with a total length of 480 kilometres. The diameter of 36 inches allows for a capacity of up to 70 million standard cubic metres per day (scm/d).
Gassco was responsible for Polarled up to the choice of concept on 21 December 2011, when Statoil took over management of the project. Additionally, Gassco has led the commercial process between the Polarled partners and the owners of associated facilities as well as activities related to operational preparations.
New Gas Terminal for Emden
Gassled approved Gassco’s recommendation to build a new receiving terminal for Norwegian gas in Emden, Germany. This facility replaced the existing Norsea Gas Terminal, which became operational in 1977 in connection with the development of the Ekofisk field. The terminal in Emden receives a substantial share of Norway’s gas deliveries to Germany through the Norpipe pipeline.
The construction took place in an unused area of the existing site and the building contract was issued to Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH. The terminal was scheduled to be completed in 2016 and the project was estimated to be an investment of NOK 5 billion.
Takeover of the Easington Receiving Terminal
Gassco takes over the day-to-day operations of the receiving terminal in Easington on the English east coast, the southern leg of the Langeled pipeline.
The Way Ahead
Gassco took over the operatorship of the pipeline for rich gas from the Gjøa and Vega fields in June, which ties directly into Britain’s Flag transport system. Read more about the Gjøa gas pipeline here. [LINK]
More gas than ever is being delivered to Europe through the integrated transport system for Norwegian gas. Upgrades will be needed to maintain secure and stable deliveries, including a modernisation of the Zeebrugge receiving terminal as well as the construction of a new receiving terminal for Norwegian Gas in Emden, Germany.
Post Through the Pipe
The Jimmy 007 pig carried a letter through Langelend from the mayor of Aukra in Norway to a chairperson of the Easington Parish Council in England. Gassco and Shell thereby celebrated the first internal inspection of the export pipeline for gas from Ormen Lange. Watch the video of the Langeled subsea post here. [LINK]
The Skanled project, exploring opportunities for a new gas pipeline to eastern Norway and continuing to Sweden and Denmark was shelved because of the financial risk involved.
Gassco’s responsibility was expanded by the takeover of operatorships for the Kvitebjørn gas transport – a gas export line linking the Kvitebjørn and Visund fields in the North Sea to the Kollsnes processing plant. Read more about Kvitebjørn gas transport here. [LINK]
The MPE resolved to extend and widen the mandate related to carbon transport. Gassco was now to prepare solutions for piping carbon dioxide captured from the Kårstø and Mongstad plants, and in collaboration with Gassnova and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, lay the basis for an investment decision on carbon transport and storage.
The company’s operator responsibilities expanded, and Gassco took over the day-to-day operation of four receiving terminals in Germany, Belgium and France. This in turn increased the company’s workforce by 100 people in continental Europe.
Upgrades to the Kårstø processing plant are planned and initiated. Gassco’s role in the transport of Norwegian gas results in involvement in several projects.
Five Years and New Records
Deliveries of Norwegian gas had never been higher when Gassco celebrated its fifth anniversary. For the first time, more than 300 million cubic metres were produced and delivered in a single day. With the takeover of the operatorship of Langeled, and with the southern leg of this system in operation, Gassco was ready to set new delivery records. Read more about Langeled here. [LINK]
The work on carbon value chains continued, with Gassco, Gassnova and Petoro identifying 11 of these for submission
Gassco secured new assignments from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) to ensure stable Norwegian deliveries of gas to Europe. This resulted in the job, later known as the Skanled project, which involved developing business plans for establishing gas pipelines to the Grenland region of South-East Norway and Skogn/Trondheim in the middle of the country.
Gassco was also asked to take the lead on developing a value chain for carbon capture, transport and injection below ground.
Operator Assignments and Coordination
During its second operating year, Gassco assumed the operatorship of Norpipe, the gas pipeline from Ekofisk to the Emden receiving terminal as well as the processing facility at Kollsnes in Øygarden municipality. Read more about Norpipe here. [LINK]
During the company’s first operating year, transport system owners were required to open their facilities to third parties as a consequence of the EU gas market directive. As a result, sales of Norwegian gas became company-based.
The Gassled joint venture was established and is the formal owner of the bulk of Norway’s gas infrastructure today. Gassled is a joint venture between oil and gas companies on the Norwegian continental shelf. Read more about Gassled here. [LINK]
Gassco Is Founded
Bør starte her, men trenger en liten ingress