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 kilometres from the Mongstad oil terminal outside Bergen to the giant field in the North Sea.
Geir Bjaanes, the person responsible for subsea, power and pipelines for the Johan Sverdrup project, said together with their supplier Saipem, Equinor succeeded in laying the oil pipeline to Johan Sverdrup without any serious incidents occurring.
“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,” Mr Bjaanes said.
“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,” he added.
The Saipem Castorone vessel began pipelaying operations at Mongstad in late-April this year. Following this, the pipeline was laid through the Fensfjord before the vessel set course for the Johan Sverdrup field. Now that the oil pipeline is installed, the next stage for the project includes laying the 156-kilometre-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,” said Tor Kåre Egelandsdal, who was responsible for the pipeline installation and the contract with Saipem.
“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,” he said.
When the pipeline operations are complete, the 2018 Johan Sverdrup installation campaign will end. With three jackets, two topsides, one bridge, over 400 kilometres of pipelines, and 200 kilometres of power cables, Equinor has said that the 2018 campaign is likely to be the busiest installation campaign ever for a project on the Norwegian continental shelf.
2019 will see the last two topsides and remaining bridges be put in place before the start-up of the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development, which is expected in November next year.
More information on the Johan Sverdrup project can be found here.