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Optimising the Norwegian Natural Gas Production and Transport GassOpt is an optimisation based decision support tool the Norwegian natural gas export network. It has been developed by SINTEF since 1998 and has contributed to substantial value creation in both Statoil and Gassco.

Network of subsea pipelines for export of natural gas from the Norwegian Continental Shelf (Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate)

The network for transportation of natural gas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is the world’s largest offshore pipeline network with 7800 km. The gas flowing through this network amounts to approximately 15 % of the European consumption. In a network of interconnected pipelines, system effects are prevalent, and the network has to be analyzed as a whole to determine the optimal operation. SINTEF has developed a decision support tool, GassOpt based on a mixed integer program to optimise the network configuration and routing for the main Norwegian shipper of natural gas, Statoil. Also the independent network operator, Gassco, uses the tool.

The GassOpt tool allows the users to graphically model their network and easily run optimisations to find the best solutions quickly. It is used to evaluate the current network as well as possible network extensions.

Model properties and focus:

  • Portfolio perspective
  • Gas quality management
  • Flexibility and market requirements
  • System robustness and integritySecurity of supply

Operations research (OR) methods are now an integrated part of the work of the departments responsible for transportation planning and security of supply and several new OR projects have grown out from this cooperation.

Construction of the pipeline Langeled near the field Sleipner (Source: Kim Laland/Statoil)

Construction of the pipeline Langeled near the field Sleipner (Source: Kim Laland/Statoil)

GassOpt analyses the operation of a system with capacity of 120 billion standard cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year. Statoil estimates the accumulated savings related to their use of the tool to be in the range of several billion NOK.

  • Reduced losses during temporary production shutdowns
  • Prevent investment decisions shown to have a significant negative effect on other promising field development options
  • Increased precision in transport capacity booking
  • Avoiding decisions which would have reduced oil production
  • Increased precision in field development decisions
  • Increased ability to deliver gas with right quality
SINTEF logo             Gassco logo             Statoil logo





Les mer

SINTEF and the project partners participated was finalists in The Franz Edelman Award 2008 for innovative applied operations research.

Pressrelease SINTEF 

The GassOpt tool is presented in Interfaces, January/February 2009 vol. 39 no. 1 46-56



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