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KONGSBERG - part of the Ormen Lange project

The Ormen Lange gas field - photo courtesy Hydro
The Ormen Lange gas field
Photo: Courtesy Hydro

Hydro’s development of the Ormen Lange gas field, at a water depth of around 1000 metres is truly a mega-project, technically and by its share scale, with a cost framework of NOK 66 billion. KONGSBERG technology has played an important role in several different areas.

Survey

When the Ormen Lange project began, KONGSBERG together with NUI (Norwegian Underwater Institute) was engaged to do seabed surveying using the autonomous underwater vehicle HUGIN. Once the surveying was finished, it was important to set up 'landmarks' so the different development operations had common points of reference and for this KONGSBERG supplied about 90 hydroacoustic transponders to Hydro plus HAIN and HiPAP systems.

Hugin AUV - Autonomous Underwater Vehicle
Hugin AUV - Autonomous Underwater Vehicle

Transponders

"We also subcontracted for the development companies, covering their needs for positioning vessels and for remotely controlled vehicles (ROVs). In brief, these transponders transmit hydroacoustic signals to a receiver – a HiPAP – to provide a highly accurate underwater reference system in the area," explains Sales Manager Morten Berntsen of Kongsberg Maritime's Subsea Division in Horten.

Dynamic positioning

After the survey work came the start of underwater construction. Operations began by placing rock fills and digging trenches for the pipelines, followed by pipe laying. The vessels that performed these operations were also equipped with another KONGSBERG specialty; Dynamic Positioning (DP). DP enables the vessels to maintain an exact and constant position regardless of wind, waves and ocean currents, by governing propellers and thrusters and making accurate adjustments at any given time.

Dynamic process simulation

Ormen Lange subsea installation - Photo courtesy Hydro
Ormen Lange subsea installation
Photo: Courtesy Hydro

The entire offshore section of the Ormen Lange facility is located on the seabed. This means there is no production platform on the ocean surface, which means a myriad of challenging processes are required. KONGSBERG’s Dynamic Process Simulation activity has been utilise to assist in beating these challenges, for instance, ensuring gas flow at the freezing temperatures at 1000m below.

"Our ASSETT dynamic simulator has been a valuable tool that has contributed to a number of the engineering and process assignments being handled by Aker-Kværner, the supplier of these services to Ormen Lange. We are subcontracting to them", says Gudmund Totland, project manager for Kongsberg Maritime.

On land

Ormen lange gas pipeline - Photo courtesy Hydro
Ormen lange gas pipeline
Photo: Courtesy Hydro

The Ormen Lange project has also led to KONGSBERG’s first land based project in the UK, at the terminal in Easington, which receives the gas from the 1200km Langeled pipeline. KONGSBERG cooperates closely with Centrica (the British gas company) on process control, safety systems and HIPPS (High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems) at the terminal.

From land to sea, KONGSBERG is playing an important role in the development of Ormen Lange project, which is destined to supply Britain with nearly one fifth of its gas supply over the next 30 years.

About Ormen Lange

The Ormen Lange gas field lies 120 kilometres northwest of Kristiansund in the Norwegian Sea. It is being developed using subsea installations at depths ranging from 850 to 1100 metres and seabed temperatures reach down to -1 degree Celsius. It is scheduled to come on stream in 2007, just ten years after the field was proven by Norsk Hydro.