Two new companies have been created with Statoil participation to own and operate two liquefied natural gas carriers which will transport LNG from the group's Snohvit field in the Barents Sea.
Called Northern LNG Transport Co I Ltd and Northern LNG Transport Co II Ltd, these companies are owned with Japan's Kawasaki Kisen Kaisa, Mitsui & Co Ltd and Iino Kaiun Kaisa Ltd.
The vessels will be built at Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, both in Japan, with delivery in November 2005 and April 2006 respectively.
They have been chartered for 20 years by Statoil together with fellow Snohvit licensees Norsk Hydro, Amerada Hess, RWE-DEA, Svenska Petroleum and Petoro.
Statoil's share in the two new companies corresponds to its need for transport capacity to lift its share of Snohvit gas – in other words, about 32 percent.
The group has previously exercised an option for a third carrier, in which it will have a similar stake. Its co-owners in this vessel are Leif Hoegh & Co Shipping of Norway and Mitsui OSK Lines. "These holdings reflect our desire to follow the Snohvit gas along the value chain all the way to the customer," explains Otto Granli, vice president for gas sales and shipment in the project.