The Kårstø processing plant north of Stavanger plays a key role in the transport and treatment of gas and condensate (light oil) from important areas on the Norwegian continental shelf.
First gas arrived at the plant on 25 June 1985, and dry gas began to be dispatched by pipeline to Emden in Germany on 15 October of the same year. The Statpipe trunkline system carries gas from the North Sea to Kårstø.
The Kårstø facility also receives gas from Åsgard and other fields in the Norwegian Sea through the Åsgard Transport trunkline.
In opertion since 1 October 2000, the Åsgard section of the plant processes this gas to meet sales specifications.
The new extraction train (NET1) project was completed on 1 October 2003, allowing Kårstø to receive and process rich gas from the Mikkel field in the Norwegian Sea through Åsgard Transport.
Exactly two years later, work finished on the Kårstø expansion project (KEP2005). This was intended to permit the reception of rich gas from the Kristin field via Åsgard Transport.
The expansion project increased daily capacity at Kårstø by 20%, to 88 million cubic metres.
A plant for removing carbon dioxide from sales gas also formed part of KEP2005.
Kårstø receives unprocessed condensate from the Sleipner area of the North Sea. This is stabilised and fractionated in a dedicated plant, which became operational on 1 October 1993.
Natural gas liquids
NGLs are separated from the rich gas arriving at Kårstø before being fractionated into propane, normal butane, isobutane, naphtha and ethane. The propane is stored in two large artificial rock caverns with a combined capacity of 90,000 tonnes.
Normal butane, isobutane, naphtha and ethane are held in conventional tanks.
The Kårstø complex ranks as the world’s third largest export port for liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), which embrace propane and butanes. These products are sold to customers worldwide.
About 700 cargoes of LPG, ethane, naphtha and stabilised condensate are dispatched from the plant every year.
Ethane separation plant
The KEP2005 project also expanded capacity for ethane separation by more than 50%, to roughly 950,000 tonnes per year. This production is sold under long-term contracts and shipped from the plant by sea.
Dry gas is exported from Kårstø through the Europipe II trunkline to Dornum in Germany and through the Statpipe/Norpipe system to Emden, which is also on the north German coast.
A metering and technology laboratory called K-lab was opened at Kårstø in 1988.