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Shell postpones Norwegian subsea gas project

Shell is postponing a project to provide subsea compression at the North Sea's Ormen Lange, the second-biggest Norwegian gas field, despite the objections of a key license partner, according to a Reuters report. The decision is, in part, due to soaring costs in Norway’s offshore oil sector. Shell also said it would not build a platform, given the costs and its new analysis showing that compression was not time-critical to the ultimate recovery of the field.

Petoro, the government's holding firm and the biggest shareholder in the license, objected to the postponement. Ormen Lange produces an equivalent of a fifth of Britain's gas needs, and will eventually lose its natural pressure. Subsea compression was seen as a cheaper alternative to building a platform.

Reuters noted that a Shell spokesperson said that the company could not confirm how long the postponement might last regarding an offshore compression at Ormen Lange.

Shell is the operator of Ormen Lange with a 17.8% stake, while Norway's state-owned Petoro has 36.5%, Statoil 25.4%, Dong Energy 14%, and ExxonMobil 6.3%. Petoro was reportedly the only partner against postponing the offshore compression project.

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