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Issues at Norway's Aasta Hansteen gas field to continue until Feb 1

Highlights

Problems had been expected to be resolved by Friday

Production impact since December 21 on startup issues

Hansteen is first deepwater field in Norwegian Sea

London — Issues that have plagued the major Aasta Hansteen gas field in the Norwegian Sea since its startup in mid-December are now expected to continue to impact the field until February 1, according to an update on the website of natural gas grid operator Gassco.

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Equinor-operated Hansteen -- the first deepwater development in the Norwegian Sea -- started production on December 16, and was initially impacted by processing problems just four days after its launch.

It was followed by well issues first declared on December 21, with an initial impact of 8 million cu m/d.

The resolution of the startup issues was expected this Friday, but the expected date has now been pushed back to February 1, according to the Gassco update late Tuesday.

The volume impact at Hansteen since the start of 2019 has varied between 6 million cu m/d and 12 million cu m/d.

Equinor has declined to comment on the technical problems at the field, saying it does not provide additional information to REMIT announcements by Gassco.

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Hansteen -- together with the Snefrid Nord satellite field -- is expected to produce 23 million cu m/d at plateau.

It is considered a key asset to offset falling gas production in more mature parts of the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

--Stuart Elliott, stuart.elliott@spglobal.com

--Edited by James Leech, newsdesk@spglobal.com