BP today announced that it will seek to engage a number of stakeholders in a major drive aimed at securing competitive future supplies of gas to the UK by promoting new links across the UK-Norway border between the North Sea’s existing pipeline infrastructure.
The UK is expected to become a net importer of gas from 2005, with Norway as one of the major potential suppliers.
BP’s proposal will focus on providing new cross-border linkages between existing pipelines to ensure competitive, secure and flexible transportation for significant volumes of Norwegian gas.
BP said that the existing UK infrastructure will have significant excess capacity available by 2005, more than sufficient to meet the needs of Norwegian gas suppliers, as well as continuing to provide transportation facilities for potential new oil and gas developments in UK waters.
Maintaining the viability of the built infrastructure is also said to be vital for the transportation of future feedstock supplies to Scotland’s east coast petrochemicals industry. The excess capacity in the existing pipeline systems would allow enhancements to be made at a low cost.
‘Linking existing infrastructure could meet the anticipated supply of new gas from Norway for the medium term,’ said Scott Urban, BP Group Vice President for the North Sea. ‘After that, additional new pipeline capacity may be required, depending on the needs of the gas market.’
BP’s proposal would initially build on the close co-operation already achieved through the oil industry’s UK-Norway Co-operation Workgroup, and bring together the UK and Norwegian governments, gas suppliers, and pipeline owners to develop detailed plans. The initial phase of this work is expected to be completed within three months.