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Pipelaying record

September 24, 1999, 10:00 CEST

A total of 1,187 kilometres of pipeline have been laid by Statoil during the 1999 season - a new record for the group.

Spread over nine separate projects, this length of line corresponds to the distance by road from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to the Austrian capital of Vienna.

The developments involved include the Europipe II and Åsgard Transport gas trunklines as well as Midgard, Vestprosess, Troll Oil Pipeline II, Åsgard Subsea, Sleipner Loke, Statfjord North Flank and Heidrun.

With the exception of Europipe II, which extends across the Danish and German sectors of the North Sea, these projects are concentrated on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The North Sea pipelaying season normally runs from April to October. This year's record level of activity reflects almost continuous laying from July 1998 until the early autumn.

That in turn was caused by the need to recover time lost last year on Europipe II, reports Odd Nøland, head of the pipeline and subsea production systems sector at Statoil.

"Coordinating assignments and utilising frame contracts has made it possible to achieve substantial efficiency gains in our pipelaying projects," he says.

An armada of 76 vessels has been mobilised for the various developments. Six laybarges have been assisted by 15 pipecarriers, 15 anchorhandling tugs, seven survey ships, eight gravel dumping vessels, two trenchers and 23 other support vessels - including standby ships and tugs.

A total of six pipelaying projects are scheduled for next year, but the number of kilometres involved will be down from this year's peak.