This piece of pipe marks Polarled’s crossing of the Arctic Circle. (Photo: Lars Chr. Henrichsen; Statoil)
On 21 August the Polarled gas pipeline crossed 66 degrees and 33 minutes north of the equator becoming the first pipeline to take the Norwegian gas infrastructure across the Arctic Circle. This will open a new gas highway from the Norwegian Sea to Europe.
The 482-kilometre long and 36-inch wide pipeline will run from Nyhamna in western Norway to the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea. The world’s largest pipelaying vessel, Solitaire from Allseas, is carrying out the job and is advancing slowly, exactly 24.4 metres at a time, every sixth minute or so, around the clock.
During the start-up in March the pipeline was pulled in to Nyhamna. During September the vessel will arrive at the Aasta Hansteen field, if weather permits. Even early in the autumn high waves and strong wind leading to interruptions must be expected. The weather has been good for a long period now: