Solitaire starts work on Polarled pipelay in Norwegian Sea

The Solitaire has started laying the Polarled gas pipeline. (Photo: Svein Roger Ivarsen/Shell)

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, NorwayAllseas’ Solitaire has started laying Polarled, the first pipeline to extend Norway’s gas infrastructure into the Arctic Circle.

The 482-km (300-mi) long, 36-in. pipeline, due to be completed by end-August, will transport gas from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea to the terminal at Nyhamna in western Norway.

Statoil is operator of the Polarled development phase, while Shell is responsible for preparing the Nyhamna processing plant to receive the extra gas supplies. Gassco will become operator of the pipeline and the plant at Nyhamna after Aasta Hansteen comes onstream in 2017.

Laying will extend to water depths of up to 1,265 m (4,150 ft), a record for a pipeline of this diameter, Statoil claims.

“We will install an end manifold with connection points for Aasta Hansteen and any future fields,” added Alfred Øijord, Polarled project manager. “Six T-joints on the pipeline for any further connections are also a unique feature.”

Statoil says it has achieved cost reductions over its initial estimate through lower prices from the suppliers. This is due to synergy effects with other pipeline projects and rigorous change/cost control measures.

The company is developing Aasta Hansteen via the world’s largest, and Norway’s first, spar platform.


The Polarled pipelaying operation
The Polarled pipelaying operation is scheduled to be completed by the end of August. (Photo: Lillian Aasheim/Shell).

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