Polarled deepwater pipeline project


On 6th May Statoil commenced a construction of Polarled Pipeline in the Norwegian Sea. It will transport natural gas from Aasta Hansteen field to Nyhamna Gas Plant in Western Norway.

Installation of this pipeline is an exceptional operation. While the length of the pipeline will elevate at about 480 kilometres, the project depth is record-breaking. Polarled will be laid at water depths reaching 1265 metres. Although pipelines located deeper already exist, it is the first time in history that pipe of 36’’ diameter is planted at this depth. What is more, the bottom of the the Norwegian Sea is an unfriendly environment for any engineering operation. With average depth of 2000 metres, the glacial seabed is a rough and irregular terrain.


This region of Norwegian Sea lacks gas transport infrastracture. The heads of Statoil are expecting that this project will open a field for similiar operations in the future. Eldar Sætre, executive vice president for mid- and downstream operations says

“Polarled will open a new region and facilitate further exploration activities and development of future discoveries in the area. This will contribute substantially to maintaining the role of the Norwegian continental shelf as a long-term, reliable gas supplier.”

 It will as well demand modernisation of BP-owned Nyhamna Plant.

The project is connected with development of Aasta Hansteen field. It includes first installation of a SPAR platform on the Norwegian Continental shelf. A SPAR is a typical platform used in deep waters. It consists of a single large-diameter vertical cylinder supporting a deck which is weighted at the bottom by containers filled with dense fluid which provides stability. The deep draft design allows more wind, wave and currents resitivity. SPARs are enduringly anchored to the seabed by a spread mooring system.

The drilling of Aasta Hansteen field is scheduled to begin in first quater of 2016 and start of production is expected in third quater of 2017. The field will produce around 130 thousand BOE per day during plateau stage. Estimated recoverable volume is 47 billion standard cubic metres of gas.

The total CAPEX for both invastments is estimated at 7,5 billion USD.


Sources: statoil.com; ramboll.pl; inzynieria.com
IMG: statoil

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Jakub Pitera

Junior editor in YoungPetro, a second year student of Oil and Gas Engineering at Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas at AGH University of Science and Technology; an active member of scientific research circle centred on petroleum production. Interested in reservoir characterisation and computer modelling. Enjoys time off by playing electric guitar, cooking and bass music.

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