Vessel

German crude oil and natural gas producer Wintershall has started construction on the Aasta Hansteen project in Norwegian deep water.

Wintershall is a shareholder in the Aasta Hansteen development project, operated by Statoil.

In March, Statoil began laying a 480km pipeline to transport gas from Aasta Hansteen and the neighboring discoveries to the Norwegian west coast.

The Solitaire pipe-laying vessel is being used to lay pipelines in water depths of 1265m, and is the first stage of the Polarled installation project.

Designed for a daily transport capacity of 70 million cubic meters, the pipeline is expected to be laid by the end of August, and will take first gas from Aasta Hansteen to Nyhamna in 2017.

"The pipeline is expected to be laid by the end of August, and will take first gas from Aasta Hansteen to Nyhamna in 2017."

Two new discoveries of natural gas have been made recently near the Aasta Hansteen field.

Construction of the infrastructure is of major importance for the future development of the Aasta Hansteen region, as there is no infrastructure available in this part of the Norwegian Sea to transport the gas to the mainland.

The planned Aasta Hansteen field development includes a spar platform, which Statoil claims to be the first such installation on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Spar is a floating installation that features conventional topsides with processing facilities, and consists of a vertical column moored to the seabed.


Image: Solitaire pipe-laying vessel has started laying the Polarled gas pipeline. Photo: Courtesy of Svein Roger Ivarsen/Shell.