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Statoil boosts recovery at North Sea gas field

Norwegian energy company upgrades compressors to boost recovery at Troll gas field.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Statoil boosts recovery at North Sea gas field
Norwegian energy company Statoil boosts recovery at key North Sea natural gas field by installing new compressors on the Troll A Platform, pictured. Statoil photo by Øyvind Hagen

STAVANGER, Norway, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Norwegian energy company Statoil said boosting recovery rates at a North Sea natural gas field is a win for European energy security.

The installation of two new compressors at the Troll A platform in the North Sea will increase recovery by as much as 2.9 trillion cubic feet. Vidar Helgesen, a Norwegian diplomat serving as the minister for European affairs, said the European energy market is undergoing an overhaul in terms of climate and competition.

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"Stable and competitive gas deliveries from the Norwegian continental shelf play a key role along these two axes," he said in a statement. "Higher production and flexibility from the Troll field is therefore good news to both Norway and Europe."

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation's energy regulator, said the Troll field contains 49 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and production was around 1 trillion cubic feet last year.

NPD said gas from the field is transported through three different pipelines to a processing facility at Kollsnes, an island off the southern coast of Norway.

Norway is among the leading oil and natural gas exports to a European economy looking to lessen its dependence on Russian natural reserves. Russia supplies Europe with about a quarter of its gas needs, though much of that runs through a Soviet-era pipeline system in conflict-torn Ukraine.

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The European Commission ruled earlier this year that, "ultimately, each member state in the region should have access to at least three different sources of gas." The Troll field has enough natural gas to satisfy the demands of about 10 million average European households.

Gunnar Nakken, a regional vice president for Statoil, said the compressor upgrade was a strategic milestone for the Troll field.

"The compressors are an important investment to ensure sustainable, long-term production and activity on the Norwegian continental shelf," he said in a statement.

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