Norway has been extremely active in promoting Norwegian oil and gas in the international sector. Springboard UK is a programme developed by Innovation Norway designed to support small and medium-sized Norwegian technology companies' access to global markets, along with facilitating development through close links with UK technology centres. Through this unique offer, companies are given the unique advantage of obtaining advice and support from both Norwegian and British authorities. Invest UK, the Research Council of Norway and the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry also heavily back the programme.
In 2005, Norway and the UK signed a new treaty encouraging cross-boundary petroleum cooperation, designed to simplify future trans-boundary projects. The Langeled South pipeline is the most high-profile project to come out of this treaty, and will be the world's longest export pipeline, transporting gas through a subsea pipeline stretching 1,200 kilometres from the west coast of Norway to the UK.
One Million Tonnes of Steel
The Langeled joint venture is comprised of Ormen Lange owners ConocoPhillips and Gassco, with Gassco taking over full operation of Langeled from the start of operations. Shell is responsible for the planning and execution of the drilling programme, as well as reservoir management. Hydro is the operator for Ormen Lange during the development phase - including all field development, the onshore gas processing plant at Nyhamna in mid-Norway, as well as the Langeled export pipeline project. Statoil is responsible for executing the pipeline project on behalf of operator Hydro, and the project organization is staffed from both companies.
Ever since the construction of the Rjukan hydroelectric power plant in 1905 - at that time the most impressive in the world - managing large-scale and cutting-edge technology projects has been a core competence of Hydro. This diverse background from both onshore and offshore projects is a crucial asset in managing the enormous Ormen Lange development, which includes advanced subsea and pipe-laying challenges, as well as comprehensive gas processing facilities and the Langeled pipeline.
Drilling of the first eight production wells on the Ormen Lange field 120 kilometres northwest of Kristiansund is well underway. The construction of the pipeline will require approximately one million tonnes of steel and will engage a large part of the world's pipeline production and laying resources. Once the wells are drilled and connected and the field starts producing in 2007, Ormen Lange will supply the UK with up to one-fifth of its gas demand for several decades, utilizing the Langeled South pipeline. Ormen Lange's process unit will handle around 20 billion standard cubic metres of gas per year, which is equivalent to the total annual energy demand in Norway.
|Ormen Lange's onshore gas processing plant at Nyhamna in mid-Norway. Once the field starts producing in 2007, Ormen Lange will supply the UK with up to one-fifth of its gas demands for several decades.