October 2015, Vol. 242, No. 10


World News: Polarled to Take Norwegian Gas Infrastructure Across the Arctic Circle

Work has begun on the Polarled project – the first pipeline crossing the Arctic Circle – for a consortium of Statoil-led companies. The 482-km, 36-inch pipeline will run from Nyhamna in western Norway to the Aasta Hansteen field, creating a new “gas highway” from the Norwegian Sea to Europe.

The world’s largest pipelaying vessel, Solitaire from Allseas, is carrying out the job, In July, Pipelines International reported work was advancing with crews working around the clock.

The account indicated that Kenneth Kristensen, one of Statoil’s representatives on board the vessel, said, “We are progressing well at the moment, conditions have been good for more than 50 days in a row, and at the end of July we set a record of laying 4.8 km of pipes in one day.”

Pipeline installation is taking place at water depths reaching 1,265 meters and this is the first time a 36-inch pipe is laid in waters this deep anywhere in the world.

Statoil is acting as operator during the development of the Polarled project and is responsible for laying the pipeline between Aasta Hansteen and Nyhamna. As operator for the gas plant, Shell is responsible for preparing the Nyhamna processing plant for gas reception.

This part of the Norwegian Sea has no infrastructure for gas, and efforts have been made over several years to develop various alternative gas transport solutions. The Polarled pipeline is the first pipeline to take the Norwegian gas infrastructure across the Arctic Circle. Polarled is expected to begin shipping gas to Europe later this year.

Gazprom Announces Agreement for Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Gazprom Chairman Alexei announced the signing of a shareholder agreement on development of the second phase of the twin Nord Stream pipeline system in the Baltic Sea with his counterparts at German companies BASF and E.ON, as well as those from French company ENGIE, Austria’s OMV and Royal Dutch Shell.

“Nord Stream 2 will double the throughput of our direct, state-of-the-art gas supply route via the Baltic Sea,” Miller said. “It is important that those are mostly the new gas volumes, which will be sought for in Europe due to the continuous decline in its domestic production.”

Under the proposed expansion, two more lines would be added to the existing network running to the German coast, bringing the net aggregate annual capacity to 1.9 Tcf of natural gas.

The project will be developed by a company named New European Pipeline, where Gazprom would hold a 51% share and E.ON, Shell, OMV and BASF each getting a 10% stake and ENGIE with the remaining 9%.

No construction start was announced.

Statoil Moves Ahead With North Sea Developments

It was Heerema Marine Contractors’ crane vessel Thialf that completed the recent installation of the 280-ton pre-drilling template on the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea for Statoil.

The 32-meter-long, 10-meter-high pre-drilling template is one of the smallest building blocks of the Johan Sverdrup development but plays a key role in the project. The pre-drilling template contains eight well slots that allow production wells to be pre-drilled before the drilling platform is installed in 2018 and production starts at Johan Sverdrup in late 2019.

The Johan Sverdrup partnership consists of Statoil, Lundin Norway, Petoro, Det norske oljeselskap and Maersk Oil. The partnership has recommended Statoil as the operator of all field phases.

For the UK North Sea, the steel jacket for the Statoil operated Mariner A platform left the Spanish Dragados yard on August 10 enroute to the North Sea.

Some 134 meters high and with a footprint of 88 by 62 meters, it is the largest steel jacket ever built for a Statoil project. The weight is 22,400 tons including floatation tanks and rigging.

The load-out from the Dragados yard in Cadiz onto the S44 barge took place in late July. The 1,835-nautical mile journey from the southern part of Spain to the Mariner field in the North Sea was expected to take around two weeks.

Once it arrives at the field, the jacket will be launched by the barge being ballasted to a certain angle, enabling the 22,400-ton structure to slide horizontally into the sea. Subsequently the structure will be upended and maneuvered into the right position by the heavy-lift vessel Saipem 7000. Finally the jacket will be secured by 24 piles, ensuring that it is safely fixed for many decades to come.

Topsides installation work is planned to take place in 2016.

Excelerate Completes STS Transfer of LNG at Pakistan Terminal

Excelerate Energy recently completed the first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of LNG at the Engro Elengy LNG Terminal in Port Qasim, Pakistan. Excelerate’s floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), Exquisite, received 130,000 cubic meters of LNG from the FSRU Excelerate using the double-banked LNG transfer system. This transfer also marks the company’s 500th commercial STS operation using the double-banked cryogenic transfer system technology developed by Excelerate.

Commissioned in late March of this year, the terminal initially employed the Exquisite for both cargo delivery and regasification purposes. The terminal will continue to receive LNG supply via periodical STS transfers allowing for the continuous flow of gas into the local gas distribution system.

DNV GL Launches JIP to Cut Costs for TLP Projects

A joint industry project (JIP) led by DNV GL with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Company (DSME) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) that will establish a new international standard for offshore oil and gas projects could potentially cut project costs by 15%, or approximately US$500 million for a typical TLP (tension leg platform) project.

The JIP aims to develop common and global best practices for components and equipment to reduce the number of, and variations in, requirements to the minimum necessary. The JIP is also supported by Korea Offshore and Shipbuilding Association (KOSHIPA) and the Korea Marine Equipment Research Institute (KOMERI) to address this issue. Other oil companies and engineering firms are still welcome to join the project.

Although the project partners have not yet published estimates, DNV GL expect to see savings in the region of US$150 to $250 million for this type of project, which is up to 7% of the total project cost. The full standardization potential is expected to be more than 15% of the project cost.

Russia, China Negotiate Shipping Gas to China Via Western Route

Alexey Miller, chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, recently met with Zhang Gaoli, first vice premier of China’s State Council and Wang Yilin, chairman of the board of directors of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). The participants addressed the issues of bilateral cooperation, particularly the preparations for the contract on Russian natural gas supply to China via the western route.

The western route envisages gas supply to China from Western Siberia’s fields in the amount of 30 bcma. On May 8, 2015 Gazprom and CNPC inked the Heads of Agreement for pipeline gas supply from Russia to China via the western route.

MOU Signed for Nepal-India Pipeline Project

The long-awaited Nepal-India petroleum pipeline project is set to take off with the signing of the MoU for construction of the Amlekhgunj-Raxaul pipeline.

Pipelines International reported India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and Nepal’s Minister of Commerce and Supplies Shri Sunil Bahadur Thapa in Kathmandu signed a Memo of Understanding on a petroleum product pipeline to be built from Raxaul on the India-Nepal border to Amlekhgunj in south-eastern Nepal. The 41-km pipeline (2-km in India and 39 in Nepal), to initially supply petrol, diesel and kerosene, will be constructed by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) at a cost of approximately $US30 million from its own budget.

It will take IOC 30 months to complete the project after receipt of necessary statutory clearances from the Government of Nepal.

Under the agreement, IOC will also undertake re-engineering of the Amlekhgunj petroleum depot to make it compatible to receive petroleum products by pipeline.

Wood Group Awarded FEED Contract for FLNG off Western Australia

Wood Group has secured a contract to carry out front-end engineering and design (FEED) for the Woodside proposed Browse Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) development, offshore Western Australia.

Wood Group Kenny (WGK) will perform all design engineering for the insulated production flowline system required for the asset’s offshore gas-condensate fields – Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa – located 300-km from the Kimberly coast. The 12 month contract, which is valued at US$6 million and effective immediately, will be delivered from WGK’s Perth office.

The primary focus of the Browse subsea flowline FEED is to develop the engineering and design of the rigid flowline system to assist the Browse joint venture participants to take a final investment decision (FID), which Woodside is targeting in the second half of 2016.

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