TANAGER, Norway – Norske Shell is claiming a new subsea installation record on its Ormen Lange development in the Norwegian Sea. A fourth template has been set in the northern part of the field in 925 m (3,035 ft) water depth, unparalleled offshore Norway or the rest of Europe, according to the company.
Previous subsea equipment was placed in the central and southern areas of the field. However, seabed conditions in the northern section are far more demanding, Norske Shell says, being softer. To date, more than 100,000 tons of stone have had to be dumped to stabilize the seabed in the template location and for the new pipeline routes.
Construction of the fourth template, a 950-metric ton steel structure, was completed in eight months, faster than the previous three templates.
Installation is not finished. The manifold containing equipment to control the future well flow has to be installed within the existing steel structure. After this is in place, the drillship West Navigator will be able to start drilling gas wells in the northern part of the Ormen Lange field later in 2011.