Snøhvit subsea systems brought on stream

May 29, 2007, 09:00 CEST

The start-up of subsea systems at the Snøhvit field off Hammerfest, northern Norway, was completed yesterday, 28 May.

Statoil is operator for the development and operation of Snøhvit.

Snøhvit is the first field on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) that can be remotely operated from land. The subsea development has been completed within budget at just under NOK 8 billion, and without harmful discharges to the sea.

"The entire subsea system has been project approved and just handed over to the operations organisation," says Gunnar Myrebøe, who heads the Snøhvit subsea development.

"We're taking the wellstream ashore to the land plant now, while we have a vessel out at the field. This vessel will leave the field in the next few days."

Subsea template equipment at Snøhvit, the main pipeline to shore and all involved control systems are now on stream.

The wellstream forces out water left in the main pipeline since pipe-laying was completed in the autumn of 2005. Water expulsion itself is managed from the onshore control room and began on 24 May. The wellstream now remains in the pipeline as far as the slug catcher - the first treatment stage at the process plant - until this is brought on stream during the course of the summer.

All Snøhvit's offshore systems are located on the seabed and are controlled from land via a 144-kilometre control cable. The wellstream is transported ashore via a 143-kilometre pipeline. Both pipeline and cable are the world's longest of their kind and represent advances in equipment and multiphase technology developed on the NCS.

No ships or platforms will be visible at sea level when Snøhvit comes on stream.