Aasta Hansteen

Norway-based oil and gas company Statoil has submitted a plan to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for the development and operation (PDO) of the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea.

Statoil is expected to invest NOK32bn ($5.7bn) to develop the field, located outside established infrastructure at water depths of 1,300 metres.

The company will operate the Aasta Hansteen field from its new Operations North organisation in Harstad. It will keep the supply base in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund.

As a part of the project the company will also construct a SPAR platform, which it claims will be the first such installation on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

As a floating installation, the SPAR will include a vertical column tied up to the seabed, plus conventional topsides with processing facilities. Statoil will use pure steel risers to supply gas from the seabed to the platform and further to Polarled.

The platform’s hull will feature storage for condensate, which will be loaded to transport tankers at the field.

"Statoil is expected to invest NOK32bn to develop the field, located outside established infrastructure at depths of 1,300 metres."

Statoil executive vice president, Development and Production Norway, Øystein Michelsen, said that Aasta Hansteen will be the first deep-water development in the Norwegian Sea.

"At the same time this opens for the tie-in of existing and new discoveries. The development may generate substantial ripple effects in the north," Michelsen added.

The company has also submitted a plan for installation and operation (PIO) of the Polarled project, earlier known as the Norwegian Sea Gas Infrastructure (NSGI). The 36-inch pipeline will cover 480km from Aasta Hansteen to Nyhamna in Møre og Romsdal county.

The project, to be undertaken at an estimated cost of NOK25bn ($4.4bn), will facilitate the development of Aasta Hansteen and other fields in the Norwegian Sea.

It will also include the construction of a separate pipeline between Polarled and the Kristin platform, to connect new infrastructure to existing infrastructure on Haltenbanken (Åsgard Transportation). As part of the project, Statoil will also expand the Shell-operated gas plant at Nyhamna.

Statoil executive vice president for mid and downstream operations, Eldar Sætre, said that the Polarled project will encourage further exploration activities and development of future discoveries in the area.

"This will contribute substantially to maintaining the role of the Norwegian Continental Shelf as a long-term, reliable gas supplier," Sætre added.

Image: Aasta Hansteen. Photo courtesy of Statoil.