Norway gas output lower than planned due to Shell outage, Gassco says

(Reuters) - Norway's overall gas production will be lower than planned in the coming weeks due to an extended outage at Shell's Nyhamna processing plant, gas infrastructure operator Gassco said in a statement to Reuters on Friday.

Shell on Tuesday extended an ongoing maintenance outage at the plant by nearly a month to July 15 and stopped all non-essential work after discovering a gas formation with hydrogen when cleaning a water-based cooling system.

Norway is Europe's biggest gas supplier following sharp cutbacks in Russian deliveries amid the war in Ukraine.

Shell on Friday said investigations at Nyhamna were continuing amid a "complex situation" and that local and international experts were working to tackle the problem.

The company said step-by-step measures taken this week had reduced the gas formation in the cooling system.

All other work at the site remains on hold for the time being, it added but did not provide any fresh projections on the length of the outage.

Gassco said this will lead to lower Norwegian output.

"Considering the overall period, the plant is shut down, overall production from the Norwegian continental shelf will be lower than planned," a spokesperson for the gas infrastructure operator said.

It would be up to the market to decide at which European delivery point the reductions may occur, the spokesperson added.

Norway exports gas via pipelines to Britain, Germany, France, Belgium and Denmark.

Nyhamna processes gas from the Ormen Lange and Aasta Hansteen fields, with the outage cutting 79.8 million cubic meters (mcm) of export capacity per day from the plant.

Norwegian overall gas flows typically top out at just over 340 mcm per day when operating at full capacity.

Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said on Friday it had not yet started a formal investigation but was closely following the incident.

"I don't have any information about the incident itself to share," a spokesperson for the PSA said.

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