KOPERVIK, Norway -- Completion of the world's first remotely controlled hot-tap means that all gas from the Statfjord field in the North Sea is now being piped directly to the UK. Led by Gassco, the subsea procedure used newly developed equipment to tie the Tampen Link pipeline together with the Statfjord interfield pipeline system (Sips).
The 23.1-km (14.4 -mi) Tampen Link became operational in October 2007, and the tie-in with Sips was carried out using equipment developed by StatoilHydro with Technip Norge. Operated remotely in 145 m (476 ft) of water from the control room on a surface vessel, this job involved drilling into the Sips line while it remained gas-filled and pressurized.
Before the operation, gas from the Statfjord A and C platforms was piped via the Statpipe system to continental Europe. All gas from the field will now flow directly to St. Fergus in the UK.
"That means we can free up capacity at the Kårstø processing plant for additional Norwegian Sea gas," says Brian Bjordal, Gassco chief executive. "This in turn will mean more efficient pipeline use and gas deliveries."