Breivik has long requested a transfer back to Skien, where he stayed while his quarters at Oslo's Ila prison were under construction, complaining that his isolation at Ila amounted to torture.
But prison authorities said yesterday that the decision, taken in June, had nothing to do with Breivik's petitioning.
"He has applied to move several times, but that's not why he is being moved," said Jan Erik Sandlie, deputy director of Norway's probation services. "There is no special drama in this. That's the way we work in correctional services, ensuring that prisoners sometimes are moved between different institutions."
Erwin James, the convicted murderer and Guardian columnist, praised Skien as a place where "prisoners are treated like men and provided with a constructive and meaningful regime", when he visited in 2008.
It is still not clear when Breivik will be moved or how long he will stay at Skien before moving back to Ila.