Norway completes Polarled line under budget
Work on the 26.6bn cm/yr Polarled line is now done. It is the first pipeline on the Norwegian continental shelf to cross the Arctic Circle
The 36-in pipeline extends from Nyhamna – delivery point for gas from Ormen Lange – to the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea and was laid by the world's largest pipelaying vessel: Solitaire from Allseas.
The Shell-operated gas plant at Nyhamna is being expanded and a separate pipeline between Polarled and the Kristin platform will connect new infrastructure to existing infrastructure on Haltenbanken . In addition preparations will be made for the tie-in of existing and future discoveries in the area.
The pipelaying work began in March this year. It is the deepest pipeline on the Norwegian continental shelf. At the Aasta Hansteen field, the pipeline reaches a depth of 1,260m, making it the deepest ever pipeline of that diameter.
"We are delivering Polarled under budget. The original investment budget for the pipeline project was Nkr11.1bn ($135m). We now expect an investment level of around Nkr7.5bn,” Statoil says. He attributed the saving to the tendering for several large projects at once when negotiating for pipes and vessels. “Based on this, we were able to achieve favourable conditions in the market with regard to capacity and price," he says.
In the initial stage, only the gas from Aasta Hansteen will be transported through Polarled. But the pipe has space for more. "We have therefore installed six connection points. Call them future slip roads to the new gas highway," says Statoil.
The pipeline opens up gas exports to Europe from a completely new area, and with the infrastructure in place it will also be more attractive to explore the area, he says.
“Energy supply security is essential to the European Union 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,” says Statoil.
Also in October Statoil started up two new compressors on the giant Troll A platform, to produce an additional 83bn cm over the field’s life. The Troll field exports 30bn cm/year to markets in continental Europe.