Statoil started the first stage of the Polarled installation project with the Solitaire pipelaying vessel connecting the pipeline in the Norwegian Sea to Nyhamma.
Solitaire. From Allseas.
The Polarled pipeline is the first pipeline to take the Norwegian gas infrastructure across the Arctic Circle. The 482km-long pipeline will transport up to 70 MMcum/d of gas from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea to the Shell-operated Nyhamna processing plant in western Norway.
Polarled will be laid in up to 1264km water depth and will be the first time that a gas pipeline measuring 36 in. in diameter is being installed at such water depth, according to Statoil.
The Polarled pipelaying operation is set to be complete by the end of August 2015. Nyhamna will be ready to receive Aasta Hansteen gas in 2017.
“When the pipeline is laid, we will install an end manifold with connection points for Aasta Hansteen and any future fields,” says Alfred Øijord, PRO’s project manager for Polarled. “Six T-joints on the pipeline for any further connections are also a unique feature of Polarled.”
When the pipeline comes on stream, Gassco will be operator for the pipeline and for the Nyhamna gas processing plant.
Statoil is operator during the development of the Polarled project with 50.331% interest. Joint venture partners include Petoro (11.946%), OMV (9.073%), Shell (9.019%), Total (5.11%), RWE Dea (4.791%), ConocoPhillips (4.452%), Edison (2.396%), Maersk Oil (2.396%) and GDF SUEZ (0.486%).
Map from Statoil.
Aasta Hansteen will be the largest SPAR platform in the world and is the biggest ongoing field development project in the Norwegian Sea. The spar will be the first deepwater floating production platform (+1000m) installed in the harsh environment north of the Arctic Circle utilizing steel catenary risers.
Together, Aasta Hansteen and Polarled have a total investment of US$9.2 billion.
Earlier this month, Statoil made a gas discovery close to the Aasta Hansteen development, at Snefrid Nord, in production license 218.
Snefrid Nord isin the deepwater Vøring area, close to the three gas discoveries which comprise the Aasta Hansteen field development: Luva, Haklang and Snefrid South.
Statoil says that Snefrid Nord is estimated to contain 31-57 MMboe and it increases the Aasta Hansteen resource base by approximately 15% and improve newbuild Polarled pipeline utilization.
According to Allseas, Solitaire is the largest pipelaying vessel in the world. The vessel has achieved pipelay speeds in excess of 9km/d and is capable of installing over 1000km of pipeline in a year, as a result of having a large number of welding stations on board.
In 2007, the Solitaire set a world record for ultra deepwater pipeline installation for laying pipe to a depth of 2775m in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel has been operational since 1998.