Open season meetings for NSea gas pipeline project

Initially announced in February, the Symphony gas pipeline project will be designed to transport additional gas supplies from the UK and Norwegian North Sea to the Bacton terminal in southern England. During the “÷open season’, Marathon will meet with prospective UK and Norwegian gas owners and operators to provide a review of initial plans for Symphony, as well as solicit their input on the types of services they would be seeking. Gas owners, marketers, and operators also will be invited to provide expressions of interest and contract for capacity on the project during this period, which will run until 15 October.

Marathon International Petroleum’s chairman and managing director, William Hastings, said: “The pipeline project represents a new, innovative, approach to transporting the abundant gas resources from the North Sea to the UK market. Unlike most other pipelines servicing this important market, the project will be an open-access contract carrier with a wide array of flexible, value-added, services providing gas producers and traders with a means to move their gas production to the growing UK market.” Access to additional NSea gas supplies will be crucial to help meet growing UK demand, which according to various estimates will outstrip supply by some 83 billion cubic meters per year (eight billion cubic feet per day) by 2010.

The proposed 675-km dry natural gas pipeline would run from the Brae/Miller complex in UK North Sea to the Bacton terminal area in Norfolk. The pipeline would be augmented by a 125-km link gas pipeline between the Heimdal complex in the Norwegian NSea and the Brae/Miller complex. This routeing takes the pipeline adjacent to Britannia and several other storage facilities further south, providing potential connections for some of the largest natural gas facilities in the NSea to the largest market in the UK. The Brae and Heimdal facilities have significant compression and processing capacity, and their close proximity to the Norway-UK border would help gather new gas supplies and could, in time, act as price reference points.

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