Full pitch with pipelaying
Two laybarges have started laying the remainder of Europipe II in a bid to claw back lost time in this gas trunkline project.
Solitaire is working on the section of line which runs southwards from Bokn north of Stavanger, while Castoro Sei has started extending the section running from an intermediate tie-in T-junction in the Danish North Sea towards the German coast.
A total of 52 kilometres of the latter section had been laid by Solitaire before this vessel transferred to its present task.
Due to run for 625 kilometres under water, the Statoil-operated Europipe II line will carry gas from the group's Kårstø facility north of Stavanger to Emden in Germany.
The pull-in operation at the Bokn landfall was completed on Friday. With Solitaire lying about 500 metres offshore, the pipeline was pulled into the steep landfall area.
Laying out to sea could then commence on Friday afternoon. Solitaire is due to cross the deepwater Norwegian Trench, which runs parallel to Norway's coast, and on to the tie-in point in the Danish sector.
"Based on earlier experience, we aim to maintain a laying speed of roughly three kilometres per day," says Sven Erik Falkeid, Statoil's representative on Solitaire.
Pipelaying has been delayed because this vessel, which belongs to Allseas, lost the pipeline twice while laying across the Danish North Sea. To recover the time lost, Statoil is laying pipe during the winter season for the first time.
Owned by European Marine Contractors, Castoro Sei will lay the southernmost section of Europipe II up to an existing length of line which crosses the coastal wetlands in Lower Saxony parallel to Europipe I.
Plans call for pipelaying to end in March, and the line will then be readied to begin operation by the contractual date of 1 October 1999 for starting gas deliveries.