shows these pipelines, the newer Europipe line, and their connections from Norway's off-shore gas fields to continental Europe and the United Kingdom.

During 1988, it became apparent that transportation capacity to the European continent would have to be increased to meet mid-1990s demands. The increased demand would result from higher sales volumes under existing agreements and new additional gas sales agreements signed by German and Dutch buyers. To meet the increased gas supply obligations, several supply alternatives were examined, including updating the existing pipeline systems to higher operating pressures; changing gas delivery points for certain requirements; building an off-shore pipeline to Denmark and an onshore pipeline through Denmark and Germany to Emden; and building an offshore pipeline to the Netherlands or to Germany with a connecting onshore pipeline to Emden. In fall 1990, a decision was made to develop the documentation required to secure permission to land a new Europipe offshore pipeline in Germany and connect it with an onshore pipeline to Emden.

PROJECT PLANNING AND APPROVAL

The 1990 decision resulted from contacts initially made in 1985 between Statoil and the German authorities on the first feasibility study of landing an offshore pipeline in Germany. This study was followed by a preliminary evaluation of 10 alternative routes along the German North Sea coast. In the meantime, in 1986, the Wadden Sea National Park of Lower Saxony was formally established to protect a major part of the German coastline.

In accordance with the regional planning procedure, in early 1991, Statoil submitted its first formal request for permission to plan a pipeline landfall via the island of Norderney, one of the islands of the Wadden Sea and a part of the national park. The alternative originally favored by the authorities was a pipeline crossing Norderney and the Wadden Sea, but this time the political situation in Lower Saxony had changed. There was greater cooperation between the Social Democrats and the Green Party, and environmental issues gained importance as environmental organizations increased their influence in the decision process. This situation increased the difficulty of developing a pipeline project that would satisfy the interests of the general public and the authorities. Consequently, numerous alternative pipeline routes, technical solutions, and associated environmental impact assessments were developed for review by the authorities.

In November 1992, Statoil received permission to plan a Europipe landing by crossing the national park through that Accumer Ei tidal channel and a subsurface tunnel under the tidal flats. After further optimizations of this alternative, final construction permission was given on October 27, 1993.



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