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General: Shipping firms queue up for pipeline work

Posted on 22.11.2007 - 14:00 EST in OFFSHORE NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

The joint development of the Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea and the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic is likely to require similar amounts of shipping and marine operations to the key Norwegian energy project Ormen Lange.

This gas field started producing in October this year, sending hydrocarbons to the Nyhamna plant, near Molde in mid-Norway, with gas forwarded through the world's longest offshore pipeline Langeled to the British east coast.

Norwegian state-run energy group StatoilHydro is operating the Ormen Lange project, which involves subsea wells linked directly to Nyhamna through 120 km of pipelines, and is planning to develop the southern part of the field with more seabed facilities.

The Ormen Lange development manager Thomas Bernt says the project involved 30 ships, 5,500 vessel days and $1bn of investment on ships and marine operations. This only involves the Norwegian Sea operations connecting the gas field to the onshore terminal and excludes the two years of laying the Langeled pipeline.

Mr Bernt says pipelay vessels Allseas' Solitaire and Saipem S7000 were used to lay the 120 km long pipes to the Nyhamna terminal, while the Acergy Falcon and Skandi Neptune installed the service lines.

There was plenty of seabed preparation work to be completed before the pipelines were laid. Far Sovereign deployed the seabed plough, pipe trenching was undertaken by Geofjord and Edda Freya; Geobay and Island Frontier were also involved in preparation work.

Van Oord's two rock installation vessels Tertnes and Nordnes were also involved spending almost 1,100 vessel days on site, while the Far Saga was used for inspection, maintenance and repair work.

Geoconsult was involved in the seabed survey work throughout the project, using five vessels and 1,500 vessel days under a $100m contract.

On top of this, two pipelay vessels were used through two summer construction seasons to lay the 1,200 km Langeled pipeline from Nyhamna to the Sleipner platform in the middle of the North Sea and then to the Easington terminal in eastern England. They were assisted by a fleet of platform supply vessels, which supplied the pipes.

It is likely the Shtokman gas project in the Barents Sea will have similar vessel requirements as the development of Ormen Lange, but with a far longer pipeline.

The laying of Nord Stream will require pipelay vessels, pipe haul ships, and vessels for seabed preparations, surveys and probably some pipe burial.

Copyright 2007 Informa Maritime Trade and Transport , Source: The Financial Times Limited

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