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Statoil submits deepwater Aasta Hansteen gas field and Polarled gas pipeline plans for approval; more than US$10B investment for both projects

Statoil and the Aasta Hansteen partners have submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) of the deepwater Aasta Hansteen (earlier post) gas field to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The field is located outside established infrastructure in 1,300 meters (4,265 feet) of water. The investments in the Aasta Hansteen development are estimated at NOK 32 billion (US$5.7 billion) (at money of the day).

Furthermore, Statoil and the Polarled Development Project partners have submitted the plan for installation and operation (PIO) of that undersea pipeline project. The 36-inch pipeline will be located 1,300 meters below sea level at the deepest. No other oil/gas pipeline of this dimension has ever been laid this deep before.

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This represents a step forward in the development of the petroleum activities in the Norwegian Sea. Polarled is previously known as the Norwegian Sea Gas Infrastructure (NSGI).

The Aasta Hansteen field will be run from Harstad, Statoil’s new Operations North organisation. The supply base will be located in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund. The planned field development includes a SPAR platform, which will be the first such installation on the Norwegian continental shelf.

SPAR is a floating installation consisting of a vertical column moored to the seabed. The installation features conventional topsides with processing facilities.

The risers transporting the gas from the seabed to the platform and further to Polarled will be pure steel which will be first of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf. The hull will be fitted with storage for condensate. The condensate will be loaded to shuttle tankers at the field.

Aasta Hansteen will produce up to around 130,000 boe/d, with expected start up production in Q3 2017. Licensees are Statoil (75%), OMV (15%) and ConocoPhillips (10%).

Polarled. Polarled is a new 480-kilometer (298-mile) gas pipeline from Aasta Hansteen to Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal county. The pipeline facilitates the development of Aasta Hansteen and other fields in the Norwegian Sea. The capacity will be up to 70 million standard cubic meters per day (MSm3/d) in to the Nyhamna plant.

The project includes expansion of the Shell-operated gas plant at Nyhamna.

A separate 18-inch, 30-km long pipeline between Polarled and the Kristin platform will connect new infrastructure to existing infrastructure on Haltenbanken (Åsgard Transportation). In addition preparations will be made for the tie-in of existing and future discoveries in the area.

Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling. The investments in the Polarled project are estimated at NOK 25 billion (US$4.5 billion) (at money of the day).

During the spring of 2013 Statoil will award the main contracts for topsides, subsea facilities, pipeline, pipe-laying, marine operations and drilling.

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