Prime Ministers Blair and Stoltenberg open new gas pipeline

On Monday 16 October, Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Jens Stoltenberg conducted the official opening of the Langeled gas pipeline which will transport Norwegian gas to the UK and eventually provide around 20 percent of this country's gas needs.

The opening ceremony in Central London marked the fact that the southern part of Langeled – between the Sleipner field in the North Sea and the reception facility in Easington, on the north-east coast of England – is complete, and that the export of gas to the UK through this pipeline has begun.

The 1,200 kilometre long pipeline Langeled is the world's longest subsea gas pipeline, and it connects the Ormen Lange field's gas plant at Nyhamna in Aukra municipality, Norway, with the reception facility in Easington. The Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea will be able to supply the UK with 20 per cent of its gas requirements, when it comes on full stream in October next year. Fore more information about this project, click here.

Prime Minister Stoltenberg said that the pipeline gives Norwegian gas direct access into one of Europe’s most attractive gas markets, and thereby securing maximum value creation from Norway’s natural resources. “This new pipeline strengthens the already close ties between Norway and the UK. I am pleased and proud that Norway is able to offer the UK a secure and reliable supply of energy,” he said at the opening ceremony. “Furthermore, the expansion of Norway’s offshore pipeline system creates the foundation for even further development of the Norwegian energy industry.”

Praising all those involved in the construction project, Prime Minister Blair said no country could afford to ignore the long-term energy challenges which are facing the world. "Without action to ensure reliable supplies and replace power plants, there will be a dramatic shortfall in our energy capacity and risks to our energy security over the next few decades," he said at the ceremony. "We are determined to create the right infrastructure to meet the challenges of the next century."

During the opening ceremony, Hydro's president and CEO Eivind Reiten gave the opening address and presented the Langeled project, before the two Prime Ministers conducted the official opening. Following the ceremony, an energy seminar with Norway's Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Odd Roger Enoksen, and Britain's Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, took place.

Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Jens Stoltenberg with Hydro's president and CEO Eivind Reiten at the official opening in London. In the backgorund: live satellite connection with the Easington receiving plant where both local and Norwegian school children where watching the ceremony.
Photo: Nina Rangøy / Scanpix

Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Jens Stoltenberg, along with two Norwegian and British students, illustrate how millions of Brits will soon be boiling their morning tea with Norwegian gas.
Photo: Nina Rangøy / Scanpix

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