The Norwegian gas field breaks its own water depth records, by installing a new template in 925 meters of harsh North Atlantic waters. New giant gas wells are underway to maintain Ormen Lange's role as a key provider of gas to the UK.
This is an important milestone for Ormen Lange, and a significant achievement for the project team, which is providing advanced technology in challenging projects, says Bernt Granås, Project Manager for Shell in Norway.
Shell operated Ormen Lange is one of the world's most complex gas production developments, and its wells are located in deeper water than any other assets in Europe. The Ormen Lange gas field in the Norwegian Sea supplies up to 20% of the UK gas needs.
Ormen Lange has set a new record, by the deployment of a fourth template in the northern part of the field. This location is even deeper than in the central area and southern area of Ormen Lange, where the previous subsea equipment is installed. The new template will be the deepest production installation on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and in Europe, positioned in about 925 meters water depth.
The seabed conditions in the northern part of Ormen Lange are far more demanding than in the rest of the field. The seabed is much softer. So far, over 100 000 tons of stone have been dumped to stabilize the seabed in the template location and for the new pipeline routes.
Construction and installation of the fourth template has been completed faster than the three previous templates. The 950 tones steel structure of the fourth template was completed in just eight months, and production time has been one year faster compared to the previous template, which was deployed in 2009.
The fourth template is installed in two major parts. The manifold, which contains equipment to control the future well flow, will be precisely installed within the steel structure later. Ormen Lange's drillship West Navigator will be able to start drilling gas wells in the northern part of the Ormen Lange field later in 2011.