Unlocking new energy resources for Europe
Countries in the European Union (EU) are looking to boost their supplies of natural gas as their own long-term production falls. A major gas processing plant in Norway is expanding to receive gas from a new pipeline beneath the Norwegian Sea, helping to secure more supplies of energy for millions of people.
On a small island along Norway’s rugged western coast, a team of engineers receive a giant delivery aboard a low trailer with 500 wheels. Heavy snow falls as the last of 54 new modules arrives, packed with equipment to process natural gas. The final module is the biggest, standing 32 metres tall and weighing 2,500 tonnes – more than four fully-laden Airbus A380-800 airliners.
This is Nyhamna, one of Norway’s largest gas processing plants and an essential part of Europe’s sprawling gas supply network. The plant is expanding to receive supplies of gas from a new pipeline running in deep water through the Norwegian Sea. The pipeline will allow gas from new fields to be pumped to countries including the UK, France, Belgium and Germany for use in homes and businesses.
Nyhamna expansion: unlocking more energy resources for Europe
Title: Nyhamna Expansion Project – Unlocking More Energy Resources For Europe
Duration: 1:22 minutes
The Nyhamna gas plant is being expanded to allow it to provide enough gas to power nearly 22 million European homes.
Nyhamna Expansion Project – Unlocking More Energy Resources For Europe
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The Nyhamna gas plant in Norway supplies approximately 20% of the UK’s natural gas.
Aerial view of Nyhamna gas plant located on Norwegian coastline.
Aerial view of pipelines.
Panoramic view of Nyhamna gas plant with mountains in the background.
20% of the UK’s natural gas.
Gas flows from the Ormen Lange field located 120 kilometres offshore deep beneath the Norwegian sea.
Geological diagram of Ormen Lange field.
Aerial view approaching Nyhamna gas plant from sea.
The plant is expanding to boost recovery from Ormen Lange and receive gas from more fields.
Close-up view of rock being broken up by hydraulic rock breaker.
Caterpillar hydraulic excavator breaking rock with module construction in background.
Surveyor using survey equipment.
Aerial view of new construction site.
Engineers talking together.
Nyhamna will operate further into the future.
Speeded up view of crane swinging module into position.
The expansion includes more than 50 new modules
More than 50 new modules
Module being manoeuvred into place
Each weighing up to 2,500 tonnes.
Weighing up to 2,500 tonnes.
Speeded up view of another module being manoeuvred into place.
A 480-kilometre pipeline had to be laid.
Pipeline being winched into gas plant at night.
Pipeline approaching illuminated gas plant site.
The project involves 6,000 people working across the globe.
People working in hangar on module.
Workmen looking at and discussing piece of equipment.
Workmen talking and laughing outside in gas plant site.
Meticulous planning and close collaboration help meet the challenge of working around live operations.
Concrete mixer truck driving through gas plant site.
Close-up of truck operator preparing to unload cement.
Cement being unloaded.
Operator guiding pipeline sections into place.
Operators working on length of connecting pipeline.
Operator confirming successful connection of pipeline sections.
Operator smiles and gives thumbs up.
Operator secures pipeline sections with bolt.
Once complete Nyhamna could provide enough gas to power nearly 22 million European homes.
22 million European homes
Bus driving through illuminated gas plant site.
Longer view of illuminated gas plant site.
Distant view of illuminated site against a black night sky.
Statoil, Petoro, Wintershall, OMV, Shell, TOTAL, DEA, Edison, ConocoPhillips, Maersk Oil, GDF SUEZ
ORMEN LANGE PARTNERS:
Shell, Petoro, Statoil, DONG, ExxonMobil
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Six thousand people, many of them in Norway, have designed and built the modules, and are connecting them to the plant’s existing facilities. The modules contain millions of smaller parts, all of which had to be delivered to the right place at the right time to keep the expansion project running like clockwork.
EU countries are expected to become increasingly dependent on imports of gas as their own production falls, particularly in the UK North Sea. The EU wants to strengthen its energy ties with Norway, its second-largest supplier of gas after Russia, while Norway is keen to further develop its gas resources.
Nyhamna, which is operated by Shell, already supplies around 20% of the UK’s natural gas, produced at the Ormen Lange deep-water gas field 120 kilometres offshore. Once the expansion is finished, Nyhamna will be able to supply enough gas to the UK and continental Europe in the coming years to meet the equivalent of more than 22 million homes’ cooking and heating needs.
“It is a vast and complex project,” says Mark Wildon, Shell’s General Manager for Projects in Norway. “But it will ensure the supply of natural gas, the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, to the UK and continental Europe for decades to come.”
The final module, delivered in January 2016, is designed to connect the gas pipeline to the plant. It is the last piece in a giant jigsaw puzzle.
A consortium led by Norwegian energy company Statoil installed the pipeline, called Polarled, in 2015. It stretches 480 kilometres from Nyhamna to Statoil’s Aasta Hansteen gas field through waters up to 1,260 metres deep. It was also the first gas pipeline to cross the Arctic Circle.
The world’s largest pipeline-laying vessel, Solitaire, began installation work on the Polarled pipeline in Nyhamna in March 2015, reaching the Aasta Hansteen gas field in September
Norway’s state-owned gas infrastructure operator Gassco will operate the Polarled pipeline when it begins transporting gas.
“The pipeline and the expansion are landmark projects for the European natural gas industry,” says Wildon.
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