Statoil expands shuttle tanker fleet

Feb 20, 1997 01:00 AM

Norway's Statoil has ordered three new tankers from Spain's Astilleros Espanoles SA (AESA) in a deal worth $ 260 million. The move will make Statoil one of the major carriers of crude the North Sea
Announcing the deal, a Statoil source said: "The vessels will be 125,000 dwt and will have the capacity to load 850,000 barrels of oil." Statoil's shipping and maritime technology (SMT) division already operates a fleet of 18 shuttle tankers, which transports crude oil from 12 fields located on the Norwegian and United Kingdom continental shelf. The new contract now brings the number of Statoil vessels on order from ASEA to four. Two of the tankers are due for delivery in the second half of 1998 and a third in early 1999. In addition to the three vessels, SMT has also chartered the building of a new vessel by ASEA, for delivery in the second half of this year, from Knutsen Oas of Haugesun, North of Stavanger. The vessels will be deployed on and around the Haltenbank area, off mid-Norway, where oil will be loaded directly from manned production and storage ships. There are already two fields in production in the Norwegian Sea, off mid-Norway -- Shell's Draugen field and Statoil's Heidrun field -- but several prospects, including Aasgard, Norne and Njord are planned for, or are under development. The development of Norway's hydrocarbon fields is continuing apace and oil and gas analysts see the Norwegian North Sea providing an essential part of the European Union's oil and gas needs for many years to come.

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