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Norway-UK pipeline to get extra natural gas before October

Norsk Hydro ASA, Norway's second-largest oil producer, will start testing pumping natural gas from the Ormen Lange field before October, delivering extra gas to Britain, through the Langeled pipeline.

Norsk Hydro ASA will start commercial gas deliveries from the Ormen Lange field on October 1, Lars Bjelvin, a company spokesman, said by phone from Norway today. About 70 million cubic meters of gas per day, which is about 20% of UK demand for gas, will flow through the Langeled pipeline.

The pipeline, which connects UK and Norway, will become Britain's biggest gas-import pipeline when Hydro begins delivering Ormen Lange gas. The pipeline's owners include Statoil ASA, Norway's largest oil company, and Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's biggest, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The southern part of the Langeled pipeline started operating last October, sending gas from other Norwegian fields to the UK and mainland Europe.

The northern part of the pipeline, which will extend the link from Sleipner to the Ormen Lange gas field, will begin its testing phase from the middle of April to June 1, Gine Wang, a Statoil ASA spokeswoman, said by phone today. The Ormen Lange project, named after a ship owned by Viking king Olav Tryggvason, includes an onshore processing plant. Norway supplies 14% of Europe's gas, making it the region's second-largest provider, after Russia. (Bloomberg)