World-record remote control

August 3, 2005, 15:10 CEST

Work on laying the world’s longest umbilical, which will link Statoil’s Snøhvit development in the Barents Sea with the control room on land, began on Wednesday 3 August.

Measuring 144 kilometres in a single length, the record-breaking bundle of cables and pipelines will permit remote operation of gas production from the field’s subsea installations.

For Statoil, the development of umbilical technology and the operational experience gained through using this solution represent important steps towards achieving cost-effective subsea developments in the Barents Sea and other demanding areas.

“The technology underpinning the Snøhvit umbilical can be utilised over even longer distances,” notes cable expert Anders Sørum at Statoil.

This solution has been developed by the group in cooperation with leading Norwegian specialists in the area.

Cable components have been supplied by the Nexans plant at Rognan in northern Norway, with assemby into a single bundle handled at the same company’s Halden facility south of Oslo.

"This has been an extremely important contract for Nexans," says Anne-Lise Aukner managing director of Nexans Norway. "It strengthens our product and production development, and we have also shown that Norwegian industry and technology can be competitive on a global basis."

Laying vessel Normand Clipper is due to install the umbilical in a single excursion, reeling it off a spool onto the seabed. This method provides a laying speed of 10-20 kilometres per day.

The work is being carried out by Technip Offshore Norge and is expected to be completed in the middle of August.