Nyhamna expansion to boost Shell’s Ormen Lange output

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted consent for the start of the expansion of the Nyhamna gas plant in the Møre Og Romsdal County, Norway. The onshore facility processes gas from the Shell operated Ormen Lange field.

According to NPD’s statement on Friday, the expansion will allow Shell’s Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea to increase production by 25-30 billion standard cubic meters (Sm3) of gas.

The Nyhamna expansion consists of two main parts. The first, expansion of the gas plant, includes land-based compression of gas from the Ormen Lange offshore field. A new compressor will maintain gas pressure at Nyhamna as the pressure in the reservoir drops.

The second part includes export and process facilities for the Polarled pipeline which will transport gas from the Aasta Hansteen field to Nyhamna. Norway’s offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), gave its consent to use the expanded facilities for Aasta Hansteen back in early December 2016.

The compression and export of gas through the 482-kilometer long Polarled offshore pipeline is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2018. Gas from the Dvalin field, planned to start in the autumn of 2020, will also be transported through Polarled.

NPD said that the expansion would increase Nyhamna’s export capacity from 70 to 84 million Sm3 per day. After the gas arrives at the facility, it will be sent through the Langeled pipeline from Nyhamna, via Sleipner, to Easington in northeast England.

Kalmar Ildstad, NPD’s Assistant Director of Development and Operations in the Norwegian Sea, said: “This is a large and important project for improved recovery, and onshore compression is the first step. The next step is compression closer to the field.”

The next project for increased gas production from Ormen Lange is offshore compression solutions. NPD informed that Shell and its partners were studying different concepts to utilize compression when the need occurs which will most likely happen in the mid-2020s.

Ormen Lange, a natural gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf situated 120 kilometers northwest of Kristiansund, was proven in 1997 and began production ten years later. The field’s expected lifetime extends beyond 2035. Shell has operatorship of the field with the other licensees being Petoro, Statoil, Dong, and ExxonMobil.

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