Installation of the world’s longest heated subsea production pipeline is underway in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
Once completed, the 36-km electrically trace-heated (ETH) pipe-in-pipe solution will transport oil from the Neptune Energy-operated Fenja field to the Njord A platform, operated by Equinor. The initial phase of the installation saw a 9-km section safely installed and successfully tested.
Neptune Energy’s director of Projects and Engineering in Norway
, Erik Oppedal, said: “The installation and testing of the ETH pipe is a great technical achievement, as well as a milestone in the development of the Fenja field. Norway is an important part of our geographically-diverse portfolio and this is an excellent example of Neptune Energy’s commitment to investing in the region and adopting advanced technologies to overcome challenges. The heated pipe-in-pipe solution permits us to tie the field back to existing infrastructure, keeping costs low.”
The length of the ETH pipeline presents a significant technological achievement – specifically developed and qualified in collaboration with TechnipFMC. Due to the high wax content of the Fenja field’s oil, the contents of the pipeline must warm up to a temperature above 28-degree Celsius before starting the flow after a shut down.
During normal production, the temperature in the pipeline is well above this temperature. Ståle Ryggvik, TechnipFMC
’s project director, also stated: “This technology step change has been made possible by the extraordinary effort of TechnipFMC and excellent cooperation with Neptune Energy. It will unlock possibilities to develop future projects with difficult reservoir properties. We are looking forward to continuing the project and completing the installation in 2021.”
For the purpose of this project, TechnipFMC utilised the vessel Deep Energy. The project took place approximately 120 km North of Kristiansund, Norway, at a water depth of about 320 metres.