Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president Development and Production Norway, at the Aasta Hansteen PDO handover. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Aasta Hansteen and Polarled plans submitted for government approval

Statoil and the Aasta Hansteen partners have submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) of the field to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

Furthermore Statoil and the Polarled Development Project partners have submitted the plan for installation and operation (PIO).

This represents a step forward in the development of the petroleum activities in the Norwegian Sea. Polarled is previously known as the Norwegian Sea Gas Infrastructure (NSGI).

"We are very pleased to take another step in the development of Norwegian Sea activities together with our partners. Aasta Hansteen will be the first deep-water development in the Norwegian Sea," says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president, Development and Production Norway.

"At the same time this opens for the tie-in of existing and new discoveries. The development may generate substantial ripple effects in the north," says Michelsen.

The Aasta Hansteen field will be run from Harstad, Statoil's new Operations North organisation. The supply base will be located in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund.

The planned field development includes a SPAR platform, which will be the first such installation on the Norwegian continental shelf.

SPAR is a floating installation consisting of a vertical column moored to the seabed. The installation features conventional topsides with processing facilities.

The risers transporting the gas from the seabed to the platform and further to Polarled will be pure steel which will be first of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The hull will be fitted with storage for condensate. The condensate will be loaded to shuttle tankers at the field.

The field is located outside established infrastructure in 1300 meters of water.

The investments in the Aasta Hansteen development are estimated at NOK 32 billion (at money of the day).

Polarled opens for gas in the Norwegian Sea

Polarled is a new 480-kilometer gas pipeline from Aasta Hansteen to Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal county. The pipeline facilitates the development of Aasta Hansteen and other fields in the Norwegian Sea

"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," says Statoil's executive vice president for mid- and downstream operations, Eldar Sætre.

The project includes expansion of the Shell-operated gas plant at Nyhamna.

A separate pipeline between Polarled and the Kristin platform will connect new infrastructure to existing infrastructure on Haltenbanken (Åsgard Transportation). In addition preparations will be made for the tie-in of existing and future discoveries in the area.

Deepest in the word

The 36-inch pipeline will be located 1300 meters below sea level at the deepest. No other oil/gas pipeline of this dimension has ever been laid this deep before.

The investments in the Polarled project are estimated at NOK 25 billion (at money of the day).

Ripple effects and opportunities

Statoil aims to create local and regional ripple effects. Together with the supplier network PetroArctic Statoil identified the opportunities for competitive deliveries from North-Norwegian communities and other bidders in the supply industry at an early stage of the project.

During the spring of 2013 Statoil will award the main contract s for topsides, subsea facilities, pipeline, pipe-laying, marine operations and drilling. There will also be contract opportunities when the field comes on stream. .

"The greatest and most long-term ripple effects will normally occur in the operating phase. We would like the Aasta Hansteen development to drive industrial development in the north," says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling.

The main contracts for the Aasta Hansteen project will be based on studies performed by Norwegian and international suppliers.     

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