The North Sea could be set for a new gas hub after operator Statoil announced plans for a major new pipeline to service the giant Johan Sverdrup field.

Norwegian gas operator Gassco revealed it was in talks over setting up a 165km pipeline from the Johan Sverdrup field, which sits around 140km west of Stavanger.

The new pipeline would be able to carry up to 10million cubic metres of gas per day, more than double the amount expected to be produced from Sverdrup, with the intent of tying future gas finds into it as they are discovered.

“The new pipeline will have a larger capacity than Johan Sverdrup’s own requirements, estimated at 3-5 million standard cubic metres per day in the early phase,” Gassco said in a statement.

“The new line will also provide greater capacity than Johan Sverdrup needs, opening the way for other fields in the area to use it in the future.”

The Joahn Sverdrup is primarily an oil find, thought to contain more than 3billion barrels of oil equivalent, but also contains enough gas to supply at up to five million standard cubic metres per day during its early phase.

The pipeline would connect to the Kårstø processing plant in Tysvær, Europes largest gas export plant,w hich already receives input from the Mikkel, Sleipner and Asgard fields.