Statoil’s record-breaking Polarled gas pipeline has become the first to cross the Arctic Circle, opening a new “gas highway” from the Norwegian Sea to Europe.
The company confirmed the pipleine was laid down on the seabed at earlier today.
The 482-kilometre long and 36-inch wide pipeline will run from Nyhamna in western Norway to the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea.
The world’s largest pipelaying vessel, Solitaire from Allseas, is carrying out the job. The vessel will arrive at the Aasta Hansteen field in September, weather permitting.
Statoil warned that even early in the autumn, high waves and strong wind could lead to disruption.
Polarled will also be the deepest pipeline on the Norwegian continental shelf – by the Aasta Hansteen field the water depth is 1,260 metres.
It is the first time a 36-inch wide pipe has been laid in such deep waters anywhere in the world.
Statoil’s Kenneth Aksel Kristensen, said: “Conditions have been good for more than 50 days in a row, and at the end of July we set a record of laying 4.8 kilometres of pipes in one day.”
Project manager Alfred Øijord, said: “The original investment budget for the pipeline project was NOK 11.1billion. We are now expecting an investment level of around NOK 7.5billion. We have also had favourable market conditions with regard to capacity and price.”
At start-up the gas from Aasta Hansteen will be the only gas passing through Polarled, but the pipeline has a diameter of 36 inches and capacity for more gas.