Oslo: The Solitaire pipelaying vessel owned by Allseas started on the first stage of the Polarled installation project yesterday. The 482 km long pipeline will transport gas from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea to Nyhamna in western Norway.
Statoil is operator during the development of the Polarled project and therefore responsible for laying the pipeline between Aasta Hansteen and Nyhamna. As operator for the gas plant, Shell is responsible for preparing the Nyhamna processing plant for gas reception.
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 a gas pipeline measuring 36 inches in diameter is being installed at such water depth.
“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,” said Alfred Øijord, PRO’s project manager for Polarled.
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.
The field development will include a so-called 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 operator for the pipeline and for the Nyhamna gas processing plant.