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Historic shipwreck found by Ormen Lange pipeline route

December 10, 2003, 09:00 CET

The remains of a nearly 60 metre-long ship was found at a depth of nearly 200 metres outside Bud just off the north-west coast of Norway.

The shipwreck was discovered during marine archaeological studies along the planned pipeline route from the Ormen Lange-field to the processing-plant at Nyhamna.

The discovery is the first historic shipwreck, of which the wooden construction is preserved, in deep waters off the Norwegian coast.

Well preserved

Sections of the wreck are easily visible, even though it is partially covered by sediment. A number of objects can also be seen on the sea floor, including glass bottles, ceramic and porcelain articles, parts of the ship’s rigging, and canons. The ship’s bell, bearing an inscription dated 1745 has also been found and recovered.

A smaller wreck has also been discovered, assumed to date from around 1800. This consists of ballast rubble, log anchors, and some glass and porcelain.

Close cooperation

The surveys have been carried out around ten kilometres from land and between 50 and 100 metres to either side of the planned pipeline route. The finds have been made just outsiden Bud in the skerries off the coast of Aukra.

“Both finds are close to planned pipeline routes. The largest wreck was found on our first choice of route, and when we looked at an alternative route, the second vessel was found,” says Petter Bryn,  responsible for the choice of route in the Ormen Lange project.

Bryn points out that this is a difficult area and that it is not easy to find alternative routes. The project plans to decide on the route early in 2004, and any excavation that needs to be carried out will be done during 2004 and 2005. The pipelines will be installed along the chosen route in 2006. 



  • The Science Museum at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)  has administrative responsibility for marine heritage in Mid-Norway.
  • The preliminary studies have been carried out in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Act, and are financed by the Ormen Lange licence.
  • The discussion on the importance of archaeological surveys started a year and a half ago, but the decision to carry out a survey was not taken until the general routes for the pipelines from Nyhamna had been decided.
  • The marine archaeological team have used advanced technology, including a remotely operated subsea vessel (ROV) to search for archaeological remains in the area.