Heimdal; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

Green light for Gassco to start decom and disposal of North Sea gas pipeline

Norwegian offshore safety regulator has given Gassco consent to carry out the removal phase of a gas pipeline in the North Sea off Norway.

Heimdal; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently gave Gassco consent for Phase 1 disposal of the Valemon rich gas pipeline, which is used for transporting rich gas from the Valemon field to the Heimdal riser platform. The company was originally given consent for the use of this pipeline back in September 2014. The following month Gassco took over the operatorship of the 177-kilometre facility. The pipeline’s available technical capacity is 13 MSm3/d.

According to the consent application, the decommissioning and disposal of this 22-inch pipeline will be carried out in three phases. While Phase 1 involves the removal of hydrocarbons and water filling in 2023, Phase 2 and Phase 3 entail the disconnection of the pipeline from the Heimdal riser platform, removal of remaining structures, and other final activities in preparation for the permanent abandonment of the field and safety zone. These activities are planned for the period from 2024 to 2028.

Valemon is a gas and condensate field located about 10 kilometres west of Kvitebjørn in the northern part of the Norwegian North Sea and operated by Equinor. While the gas from the field is currently transported to Heimdal, it will be transported together with the condensate for separation at Kvitebjørn after 2023. Afterwards, the gas will be sent along with the rich gas from Kvitebjørn for further processing at Kollsnes, north of Bergen. The dry gas will then be routed to the European gas markets.

Located in the central part of the North Sea, the Heimdal field was discovered in 1972, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1981. After being developed with an integrated drilling, production and accommodation facility with a steel jacket (HMP1), the production at the field started in 1985. While Heimdal is now mainly used as a gas processing centre for other tied-in fields, a decommissioning plan for the field was submitted in 2020.