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Installation begins on world’s longest heated production pipeline
Installation has begun on what is claimed to be the world’s longest heated subsea production pipeline in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Once completed, the 36 km long 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 first 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, notes: ‘The heated pipe-in-pipe solution permits us to tie the field back to existing infrastructure, keeping costs low.’
Neptune says the length of the ETH pipeline ‘is a significant technological achievement’, developed and qualified through a collaborative approach with TechnipFMC. Due to the high wax content of the Fenja field’s oil, the contents of the pipeline must be warmed up to a temperature above 28oC 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, says: ‘This technology step change… will unlock possibilities to develop future projects with difficult reservoir properties.’
Installation is expected to complete in 2021. It is being carried out by TechnipFMC’s vessel, Deep Energy (pictured), at a water depth of about 320 metres.
Fenja field partners are Neptune Energy (operator, 30%), Vår Energi (45%), Suncor Energy (17.5%) and DNO (7.5%). The field consists of two discoveries, Pil and Bue, where Pil is currently being developed. The drilling of Bue appraisal is planned for 3Q2020. The field discovery is estimated to contain 97mn boe 2P reserves, with first oil projected in 1Q2022. Developed with two subsea templates, Fenja will have six wells. Three of these will be oil producers, two water injectors and one gas injector. The gas injector will be converted to a gas producer towards the end of field life.
Photo: Neptune Energy