Polarled pipe-laying underway, Statoil says

The Solitaire pipe-laying vessel started the first stage of the Polarled installation project on Thursday, Statoil has reported. The 482-km long pipeline will transport gas from Aasta Hansteen field, in the Norwegian Sea, to Nyhamna, in western Norway.

Statoil is the operator during the development of the Polarled project, and the company is therefore responsible for laying the pipeline between Aasta Hansteen and Nyhamna. As the operator for the gas plant, Shell is responsible for preparing the Nyhamna processing plant for gas reception.

Håkon Ivarjord, MPR’s project venture manager, said, “The pipeline is now connected to the Nyhamna processing plant. The pipeline pull-in to Nyhamna is an important milestone to the project and the Polarled licensees.”

The gas pipeline will be laid in water depths of up to 1,265 m. Even though smaller pipelines have been laid in waters exceeding this depth, this is the first time that a gas pipeline measuring 36 in. in diameter has been installed at such depth.

Alfred Øijord, PRO’s project manager for Polarled, said, “When the pipeline is laid, we will install an end manifold with connection points for Aasta Hansteen and any future fields. Six T-joints on the pipeline for any further connections are also a unique feature of Polarled.”

This part of the Norwegian Sea has no infrastructure for gas, and efforts have been made over several years to develop various alternative gas transport solutions. The Polarled pipeline is the first pipeline to take the Norwegian gas infrastructure across the Arctic Circle.

“Polarled will have great and strategic impact on the future development of the region. The new pipeline will open a new gas province and stimulate exploration and resource development, which will fortify Statoil’s position as an exporter of gas to Europe,” says Jan Heiberg, acting head of the pipelines and processing unit of MPR asset management.

Aasta Hansteen is one of the largest and most complex industrial projects in Europe, and the first deepwater project in the Norwegian Sea.

The field development will include a spar platform. It will be the world’s biggest of its kind and also the first platform of this type on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The Polarled pipe-laying operation is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. Nyhamna will be ready to receive Aasta Hansteen gas in 2017. When the pipeline comes on stream, Gassco will be the operator for both the pipeline and the Nyhamna gas processing plant.

World Oil

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