The ship, Arctic Princess, left port at Melkoya near Hammerfest in northern Norway Saturday heading to Southern Europe with 145,000 cubic meters of LNG on board.
"This is a historic milestone for the Snohvit project and StatoilHydro's LNG focus," said Helge Lund, StatoilHydro's chief executive.
"For the first time, we are supplying gas from the Norwegian continental shelf in a cooled state by ship. This gives us increased flexibility in marketing gas globally," Lund said. "Our plant at Melkoya is the first LNG production facility in Europe and will be a key component in StatoilHydro's focus on LNG, which constitutes the fastest growing gas market in the world."
StatoilHydro's Hammerfest LNG plant is still in its initial phase; production began in September. Until stable production begins in December, deliveries will vary from week to week.
At full production, tankers will leave port at Melkoya every five to six days. Each ship will transport nearly 150,000 cubic meters of LNG to customers worldwide.
The Snohvit field, the first gas field developed in the Barents Sea, was discovered 24 years ago, but production didn't begin until August.
Development of Snohvit started five years ago and is the biggest industrial development ever in northern Norway.
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