Underwater arteries – the world’s longest offshore pipelines

9 September 2014 (Last Updated January 31st, 2020 07:48)

From the 1,224km Nord Stream pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to Europe vto the 166km Langeled gas pipeline running under the North Sea, offshore-technology.com profiles the world’s ten longest oil/gas subsea pipelines.

Underwater arteries – the world’s longest offshore pipelines

Nord Stream

Nord Stream, Baltic Sea

The Nord Stream, a 48-inch diameter twin pipeline system runs for 1,224km through the Baltic Sea from Vyborg, Russia, to the German coast near Greifswald transporting Russian natural gas to Europe. The twin subsea pipelines are capable of transporting 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year. From Greifswald, the gas is routed to the German grid and other European energy markets including the Netherlands, Denmark, France and the UK.

The €7.4bn ($9.76bn) subsea pipeline is built and operated by Nord Stream, a consortium comprised of Russia's Gazprom (51%), Germany's Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas (15.5% each), Dutch gas infrastructure company Nederlandse Gasunie (9%), and French company GDF Suez (9%).

Construction for the Nord Stream project started in April 2010, the first string was commissioned in November 2011 and the second in October 2012. EUROPIPE was the main pipe supplier for both the strings. The possibility of constructing additional strings along Nord Stream is also being assessed.

Langeled, North Sea

The 1,166km Langeled gas pipeline runs under the North Sea from the Nyhamna processing facility midway along the Norwegian coast to the Easington receiving terminal on the eastern coast of UK. The pipeline carries gas from the Ormen Lange field processed at Nyhamna terminal via a tie-in point at the Sleipner E riser facility.

The 42in diameter northern leg of the subsea pipeline, capable of transporting 80 million standard cubic meters (scm) of gas per day from Nyhamna to the Sleipner East field, became operational in October 2007. The 44in southern leg with 70 million scm per day capacity from Sleipner East hub to Easington was commissioned in June 2006.

The pipeline was built with an investment of NOK18.6bn ($3.01bn) by Gassled and is operated by Gassco. Statoil is the technical service provider (TSP) for the pipeline.

Ichthys export pipeline

Ichthys Export Pipeline, Timor Sea

The 889km subsea pipeline currently being developed in the Timor Sea as part of the Ichthys LNG Project to transport gas from the Ichthys Gas Field located in the Browse Basin to an onshore LNG processing facility at Blaydin Point, Darwin, is the world's third longest offshore pipeline.

Saipem was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for the 42-inch-diameter subsea gas export pipeline in January 2012. The initial front-end engineering and design (FEED) works for the pipeline were undertaken by JP Kenny and AMEC.

The Ichthys LNG Project, owned by NPEX (66.07%), TOTAL (30%), Tokyo Gas (1.575%), Osaka Gas (1.2%), Chubu Electric Power (0.735%) and Toho Gas (0.42%), is expected to commence production in 2016.

Franpipe, North Sea

The Franpipe pipeline connecting the Draupner E riser platform with a receiving terminal at Port Ouest in Dunkerque on the French coast runs 840km in the North Sea. The 42in diameter gas pipeline owned by Gassled partnership and operated by Gassco is capable of transporting 54 million scm of gas per day.

The subsea gas pipeline built with an investment of NOK10.9bn ($1.3bn) became operational in 1998. Statoil provides technical services for the pipeline.

Dunkerque terminal is 65% owned by the Gassled partnership and 35% by GDF Suez. Draupner platform is a core hub for checking pressure, volume and quality of gas flows in Norway's offshore gas pipelines.

Zeepipe-I

Zeepipe-I, North Sea

The Zeepipe-I offshore pipe line connecting the Sleipner platform in the North Sea with the Zeebrugge receiving terminal on the Belgian coast covers a distance of 813km. The 40in diameter pipeline owned by Gassled partnership and operated by Gassco has the capacity to carry 42 million scm of gas per day.

Zeepipe-I, which became operational in 1993, was installed by the European Marine Contractors (EMC), a joint venture between Saipem and Brown & Root. The Zeebrugge receiving terminal is owned by the Gassled partners (49%) and Fluxys Belgian (51%).

Yacheng 13-1 gas pipeline, South China Sea

The Yacheng 13-1 subsea pipeline runs 780km from the Yacheng gas field located 100km south of Hainan Island, in the South China Sea, to an onshore facility at Black Point near Hong Kong. The 28in diameter subsea pipeline supplies natural gas for power generation to the Castle Peak Company in Hong Kong.

The Yacheng 13-1 gas pipeline was designed and installed by the Saipem - EMC joint venture. BP operated the Yacheng field until January 2004 before passing operatorship to the other project partner CNOOC. BP sold its working interest in the gas field to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) in December 2012.

Asgard transport pipeline

Åsgard Transport pipeline, North Sea

The gas pipeline from the Åsgard field to the Kårstø processing plant located north of Stavanger runs 707km in the North Sea. The 42in diameter subsea pipeline owned by Gassled partners and operated by Gassco is capable of transporting 69 million scm of gas per day.

The Åsgard Transport line, built with NOK11.5bn ($1.4bn) investment and designed for built for a 50-year operating life, became operational in 2000. The pipeline starts from an export riser base near Åsgard B gas platform, which is also tied with pipelines from the nearby Norne, Heidrun and Draugen fields.

Europipe-II, North Sea

The 658km long Europipe-II subsea gas pipeline runs from the Kårstø processing plant to the receiving facility at Dornum in Germany. The 42in diameter pipeline owned by Gassled partners and operated by Gassco is capable of exporting 74 million scm of gas per day.

Europipe-II was commissioned in October 1999 with a capital investment of NOK9.6bn ($1.17bn). Saipem laid the subsea pipeline using Semac I, Castoro Sei and Solitaire pipe-laying barges. Statoil is the technical service provider for the pipeline.

West Natuna gas pipe line, South China Sea

The West Natuna gas pipe line runs for 654km carrying gas from the West Natuna area in South China Sea to Palau Sakra on the coast of Singapore. The gas transportation line comprised of 28in, 22in, 16in and 14in diameter pipes was built by J. Ray McDermott and is capable of carrying 700 million cubic feet of gas per day.

The subsea gas export pipeline was brought into operation in January 2001 and is owned by the West Natuna Gas Consortium, which consists of Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina and other production sharing contractors including Conoco Indonesia, Gulf Indonesia Resources and Premier Oil. The pipe line transports gas from Natuna, Anoa, Kakap, Belida, Buntal, Tembang and Belanak gas fields in the West Natuna area.

Europipe-I

Europipe-I, North Sea

The 620km long Europipe-I subsea gas pipeline running from the Draupner E riser platform in the North Sea to Emden on the German coast has been operational since 1995. The 40in diameter pipeline, owned by Gassled partners and operated by Gassco, is capable of transporting up to 54 million scm of gas per day.

The NOK23.3bn ($2.8bn) Europipe-I project also involved the construction of a 2.53km long under-sea tunnel near the German shore line, a receiving terminal in Dornum, and the Europipe Metering Station (EMS) in Emden.

NRI Energy Technology