Equinor starts delivering gas from Askeladd to Hammerfest LNG terminal

Norway’s Equinor has started delivering natural gas from the first phase of the Askeladd project to its 4.3 mtpa Hammerfest LNG export plant on Melkoya island.

Askeladd is a satellite field of the Snohvit field and developed as a subsea tie-in to the Snohvit facility and Hammerfest LNG.

The first phase of Askeladd would bring 18 billion cubic meters of gas and two million cubic meters of condensate to the market via the Hammerfest LNG plant, according to a statement by Equinor issued on Monday.

Equinor started again shipping LNG from the Hammerfest terminal in June this year since a fire that broke out at the facility in September 2020.

Hammerfest LNG liquefies natural gas coming from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea.

Gas reaches Hammerfest LNG via a 160-kilometer gas pipeline which became operational in the autumn of 2007.

Equinor is the operator of both the Snohvit field and Hammerfest LNG with a 36.8 percent stake.

Extending plateau production

“Askeladd is now producing, the gas will help extend plateau production from Hammerfest LNG on Melkoya up to three years,” Thor Johan Haave, Equinor’s vice president operations and maintenance, Hammerfest LNG, said in the statement.

During normal production, Hammerfest LNG delivers 18.4 million standard cubic meters of gas per day, or 6.5 billion cubic meters per year.

This corresponds to the needs of around 6.5 million European households, or 5 percent of all Norwegian gas exports, according to Equinor.

“Hammerfest LNG delivers significant volumes to customers in Europe, and the gas from the Barents Sea reinforces our position as a predictable and reliable gas supplier. Askeladd and other projects in the region will ensure further value creation and production from Hammerfest LNG for decades,” Haave said.

The Askeladd project was originally completed in 2020, but start-up had to wait until the Melkoya plant resumed operations after the fire the same year.

The development was delivered on schedule and 650 million Norwegian Krone ($65 million) below the cost estimate of 5.2 billion Norwegian Krone ($518.7 million), Equinor said.

Askeladd is the first of several projects in the further development of the Snohvit field and the infrastructure around Hammerfest LNG.

Next up is Askeladd West with two new wells tied back to existing infrastructure, before further development continues with onshore compression and electrification through the Snohvit Future project, Equinor said.

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