The development of the Aasta Hansteen gas field in the Norwegian Sea is one of the most complex industrial projects in Europe. It involves the construction and installation of one of the biggest Spar platforms in the world and the 480-kilometer long Polarled pipeline. Together they ensure that gas from the Aasta Hansteen field provides a reliable gas supply to markets across Europe.
An engineer’s dream
The Aasta Hansteen production platform is one of a kind. Since April 2014 the giant substructure has been constructed piece by piece, module by module and mega-block by mega-block in the dry dock in the Hyundai Heavy Industries yard in Ulsan, South Korea. It reaches a total length of 200 meters and a diameter of 50 meters, with a dry weight of 46,000 tonnes. A massive structure in itself, but a topside is required as well. The topside weighs 24,000 tonnes and was also constructed quayside at the same yard and it took 39 months to complete the construction of the platform.
Around (half) the world in 60 days
In April 2017 the substructure was finished and transported to Norway. It took 60 days and the world’s largest heavy transport vessel (“Dockwise Vanguard”) to get it to its next stop in Klosterfjorden outside the island of Stord. After arrival, it was upended into a vertical position and preparations were made for the topside arrival and mating. In the meantime, the topside was on its way from the yard in South Korea to Norway as well and arrived in Norway end of November 2017.
The Aasta Hansteen production platform is one of a kind. It is a genuine pioneering project and I am proud and excited about its 'homecoming' to Norway.
Mating: Bringing together what belongs together
Bringing substructure and topside together was another major milestone in this project. The so-called mating is a complex marine operation. It took approximately three days and required calm weather and wind conditions. It involved several tugs, barges and a site team of 150 people to coordinate and verify alignments, correct measurements, ballasting operations and many more. After mating completed, Aasta Hansteen is now even bigger than the Eiffel Tower.
The Spar platform will undergo final testing and preparatory work to make her ready for a final journey to the field location in the Norwegian Sea, some 300 km away from the shore. Once installed and ready, Aasta Hansteen will produce gas from a water depth of 1,300 meters. Together with our joint venture partners Statoilas operator, Wintershall and ConocoPhillips, we are working closely together towards the goal of starting gas production in 2018!
Aasta Hansteen Picture Diary
Check out these amazing pictures and videos of Aasta Hansteen’s growing so far – it’s like putting together a huge puzzle: