Norway’s largest oil pipeline reaches Johan Sverdrup field

Last week Norway’s largest and longest pipeline, laid by the vessel Saipem Castorone, reached the Equinor-operated Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea.

Saipem Castorone at the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea. (Photo: Bo B. Randulff / Roar Lindefjeld / Equinor ASA)

Equinor informed on Monday that, late last week, the last pipe of what is now Norway’s longest and largest oil pipeline was installed right next to the riser platform at the Johan Sverdrup field. The 36-inch pipeline extends 283 km from the Mongstad oil terminal outside Bergen to the giant field in the North Sea.

“We have together with our supplier Saipem succeeded in laying the oil pipeline to Johan Sverdrup without any serious incidents. It has been a significant operation, involving more than 600 people at the most, who have welded together over 23,000 pipes to create what has now become Norway’s largest and longest oil pipeline,” says Geir Bjaanes, responsible for subsea, power and pipelines for the Johan Sverdrup project.

“The oil pipeline plays a really central role in the project. When the Johan Sverdrup field produces at peak, 660,000 barrels of oil valued at more than NOK 350 million each day, will flow daily into Mongstad,” says Bjaanes.

The vessel Saipem Castorone began pipelaying operations at Mongstad in late April this year. After, the pipeline was laid through the Fensfjord before the vessel set course for the Johan Sverdrup field.

Next stage

With the oil pipeline installed, Saipem Castorone is now getting ready for the next stage – laying the 156 km long gas pipeline that will extend from the Johan Sverdrup field to the Statpipe pipeline, from where gas from the field will eventually be shipped to Kårstø. The pipeline installation operations are expected to be completed during the autumn.

“We have spent many years with Saipem planning these operations. We’re all very aware of the size of the task, with several months at sea with a significant installation scope. The key is to follow the thorough plans that we’ve prepared and maintain our significant focus on HSE along the way, until also the gas pipeline is in place,” says Tor Kåre Egelandsdal, responsible for the pipeline installation and the contract with Saipem.

When the pipeline operations are complete, the 2018 Johan Sverdrup installation campaign will be over.

With three jackets, two topsides, one bridge, over 400 km of pipelines, and 200 km of power cables, the 2018 campaign is probably the busiest installation campaign ever for a project on the Norwegian continental shelf. And in 2019 the last two topsides and remaining bridges will be put in place before startup of the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development expected in November next year.

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