The last pipe in Statoil’s Polarled pipeline has been laid this week in the Norwegian Sea, with the project coming in at 32% under budget.
The pipeline was laid by the world's largest pipelaying vessel: Solitaire from Allseas. Image from Statoil.
Statoil and partners laid the final pipe on Monday (28 September) in the 482.4km long Polarled Pipeline at Aasta Hansteen field at 1260m water depth.
Pipelay work began in March, which consisted of more than 40,000 pipes, each of which is 12m in length.
Polarled is unique for many reasons: It is the deepest pipeline on the Norwegian continental shelf; it isthe first pipeline on the Norwegian continental shelf that crosses the Arctic Circle, opening the possibility for natural gas from the Norwegian Sea to Europe; and it is the first time that a pipe that is 36in in diameter has been laid at such a depth (1260m).
The 36in diameter pipeline extends from Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal to the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea and was laid by Allseas’ Solitaire, the world's largest pipelaying vessel.The pipeline’s capacity will be up to 70 MMcum/d of natural gas.
"We are delivering Polarled under budget. The original investment budget for the pipeline project was NOK 11.1 billion ($1.3 billion). We now expect an investment level of around NOK 7.5 billion ($884.6 million). This is due to good planning, good market knowledge and good execution - and the fact that we could combine several large projects when we went to the market and negotiated for pipes and vessels. Based on this, we were able to achieve favorable conditions in the market with regard to capacity and price," Torger Rød, head of projects in Statoil said.
According to Statoil, inn the initial stage, only the gas from Aasta Hansteen will be transported through Polarled, however there is space for more.
There have been six connection points installed that Statoil calls “future slip roads to the new gas highway.”
"With this pipeline, we open up for the export of gas to Europe from a completely new area, and with the infrastructure in place it will also be more attractive to explore the area," Håkon Ivarjord, project director for the Polarled development project said.
“Energy supply security is essential to the EU and the individual European countries. Tying in a new Norwegian Sea area to the gas transportation network Polarled will be an important link for further gas export, thus strengthening Norway’s position as a reliable supplier to the European gas market,” Grete B Haaland, head of asset management in Statoil’s marketing, midstream and processing business area said.
The massive pipeline crossed the Arctic Circle in August.