Norwegian gas system operator Gassco is planning to build a 300-mile natural gas pipeline to the lower Arctic, the firm said today.
The move would provide a key piece of infrastructure for the development of several projects in the area – including Statoil’s 47billion cubic-metre Aasta Hansteen field.
Called Polarled, the pipeline is expected to become operational in late 2016 with a capacity of 70million cubic metres per day.
The move was said to be a decisive step in the Norwegian oil and gas industry’s move into the Arctic.
It comes ahead of this summer’s Norwegian offshore licensing round, in which Norway plans to offer 86 blocks, mostly in offshore Arctic areas, to oil firms.
Polarled would be the biggest gas pipeline to be built off Norway since the Langeled pipeline, which started to deliver Norwegian gas to Britain in 2007.
It also collect gas from several smaller fields, including Royal Dutch Shell’s Linnorm and RWE’s Zidane, taking them to the Shell-operated processing plant at Nyhamna in north-west Norway.
Partners in the pipeline project include Statoil, state-holding firm Petoro, OMV, Shell, Total, RWE, ConocoPhillips, Edison, Maersk and GDF Suez.
The Aasta Hansteen (previously called Luva) development depends on new pipeline infrastructure.
With the Polarled pipeline it is expected to be started up by Statoil by 2016 through the world’s biggest Spar-type floating platform.