Norway's most spectacular offshore development on National Geographic Channel

March 27, 2007, 01:30 CEST

National Geographic Channel is ready to present the Hydro-operated development of the giant Ormen Lange gas field and the Langeled pipeline in its television series covering the world's most incredible constructions. The one-hour documentary will show how Hydro's Ormen Lange project breaks new technological barriers.

In Norway the TV program "Megastructures", highlighting the Ormen Lange project, will be sent for the first time on Wednesday evening, but later there will be many other opportunities to see the documentary.

The television series "Megastructures" focuses on the world's most magnificent constructions - some of them major, frequently-visited tourist attractions; others, creations most people can only dream of seeing. The art of engineering, the architecture, function, and plans underlying these fantastic constructions will all be illuminated in the National Geographic Channel documentaries.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and the enormous, artificial Palm Islands in Dubai are among the huge constructions examined in the series. Viewers can also enjoy programs on the Hoover Dam in the USA, the so-called "Superjumbo" or Airbus A380 airliner, and now also on Ormen Lange and the Langeled development.

"We think it's tremendous that Norway is represented on the list of constructions we are showing, Ormen Lange is a subsea giant, and has huge significance for the Norwegian oil and gas adventure story. This means that we are proud to be able to present the field to Norwegian and international viewers," says Stine Eriksen, Public Relations manager for National Geographic Channel Norway.

Breaking technology barriers

Great sea depths, an unpredictable sea bed and powerful currents, sub-zero temperatures, extreme wind conditions and enormous waves - all this make Ormen Lange a complicated project and an interesting topic for National Geographic Channel. Also, part of the project is building the longest subsea pipeline in the world – the 1,200 kilometer long Langeled pipeline between the land-based gas prosessing plant in Aukra, Norway and the gas terminal in Easington, England.

"On behalf of the operator Hydro and its Ormen Lange project partners, Norwegian offshore technology - through the Ormen Lange field development - is today breaking technology barriers, which only a few years ago were looked upon as impossible to overcome," says senior vice president Tom Røtjer, who is Hydro's project director for the Ormen Lange project.

"In 2000 our vision was to bring the gas to shore without a platform. In 2004 the USD 10 billion project was approved, and next year we will supply energy to the British people as promised."

Hydro is today well underway towards finalizing the project, within the agreed budget and time limits.

"Only a close cooperation with the Norwegian and international supply industry, and between project partners such as Shell, Statoil, ExxonMobil, Petoro and Dong, made it possible to realize the huge task of developing the Ormen Lang gas field," Røtjer adds. Statoil has the project management responsibility for the Langeled project on behalf of the operator Hydro.

On television worldwide

The Ormen Lange/Langeled project has already been featured on many media channels internationally. Other documentaries on Ormen Lange have already been broadcast on Discovery Channel, as well as shown on British, Arabic, Russian and German channels. Langeled has been covered by the BBC, ITV, CNN and several UK newspapers.

Ormen Lange even went to Hollywood when Hydro’s film "The Traveller," featuring Lonely Planet host Ian Wright, won top honours at the US International Film and Video Festival last summer. The magazine "Popular Science" has covered Ormen Lange and the Langeled project in its feature series "Best of What's New in 2006". The Ormen Lange project also won the esteemed Platt’s Global Energy Project of the Year prize in New York City in late 2006.

20 percent of UK gas needs

The development of the Ormen Lange field has been the largest project Hydro has ever undertaken, at a total estimated cost of NOK 66 billion, or close to US 10 billion. The Ormen Lange field, located in the Norwegian Sea 120 kilometers off the coast of western Norway, was proven through drilling by Hydro in 1997. The development involves the installation of a number of production units on the seabed 850 to 900 meters below sea level, as well as onshore processing in Norway, and the world’s longest subsea export pipeline.

Gas from Ormen Lange is expected to supply 20 per cent of the UK’s gas needs when the project comes on stream in October 2007.

In Norway the TV program "Megastructures", focusing on the Ormen Lange project, will be sent on Wednesday evening.

Frequent repeats

Apart from the premiere showing on Wednesday March 28, there will be many opportunities to see the TV programme about Ormen Lange. Here are the published broadcast times for National Geographic Channel in Norway:

  • March 29: 02.00
  • April 1: 23.00
  • April 2: 04.00
  • April 4: 14.00
  • April 5: 03.00
  • April 6: 14.00
  • April 14: 18.00