July 11, 2008

StatoilHydro Resumes Production at Snohvit Field

Norwegian oil and gas company StatoilHydro has said that production from the Snohvit field in the Barents Sea has resumed, after extensive service work comprising 150,000 labor hours.

After a quick start-up, lasting less than nine hours and involving little flaring, the plant began producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at about 60% of its design capacity.

The company noted that up to a 1,000 workers have thoroughly checked the plant and made it as robust as possible. This turnaround is the first planned production shut-down at the Hammerfest LNG plant.

The problems with the refrigeration unit have been the main area of focus during the turnaround. After start-up in autumn 2007, several of the seawater heat exchangers in the cooling circuits were shown to be insufficiently robust to withstand the force of full production.

The damaged heat exchangers were repaired during the turnaround and some modifications have been made to pipes. In addition, several extra metering instruments have been installed. These will be used to gain a more detailed picture of what happens inside the refrigeration unit during production.