News | October 29, 2007

Ormen Lange Gas Field Goes Onstream With Help From ABB


Zurich, Switzerland - The giant Ormen Lange gas field in the Norwegian Sea will supply 20 percent of the United Kingdom’s gas needs via a 1,200 kilometer pipeline – the longest underwater pipeline in the world.

Equipped with a cutting-edge ABB Measurement & Analytics automation, electrification and telecommunications solution, the project was officially opened on October 6. When full production capacity is reached later this year, Ormen Lange will supply 70 million cubic meters of gas and 50,000 barrels of condensate a day and provide the United Kingdom with a stable and reliable supply of natural gas for the next 40 years.

Located at depths of 800 to 1,100 meters in the extreme weather conditions of the Norwegian continental shelf, Ormen Lange is the deepest natural gas field ever exploited. The gas is piped 120 kilometers to the Norwegian mainland for processing, and then pumped along a 1200 kilometer pipeline to the east coast of England for distribution in the U.K. supply network.

ABB’s participation in Ormen Lange is extensive and crucial to the success of the project.

ABB control, safety and information management systems control the gas processing plant and the flow of gas through the pipeline. Based on ABB’s market-leading and award-winning Extended Automation System 800xA, the solution is one of the largest automation systems ever delivered by ABB.

In addition, ABB has supplied an energy-efficient all-electric variable speed drive solution to power and control the gas compressors at the Nyhamna onshore processing plant. Compared to the alternative technology of turbine-driven compressors, ABB's MEGADRIVE-LCI variable speed drive system brings considerable savings in operating costs, fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as significant improvements in availability, productivity and energy efficiency. ABB has also supplied telecommunications packages for the gas processing plant - which are fully integrated with the plant automation system - and electrical tagged equipment systems including motor starters, transformers, distribution boards and battery systems.

Hydro was responsible for the development phase of the project and will hand over operation of Ormen Lange later this year to Shell, one of the project’s five partners. After Troll, Ormen Lange is the second largest gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The last four weeks have seen two other groundbreaking events take place for StatoilHydro. On October 1 the merger between Statoil and Hydro was formally completed, and on September 13 the company’s Snøhvit gas field in the Barents Sea and Hammerfest LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant in the Arctic Circle went onstream.

ABB is a major supplier of power and automation solutions to both Hammerfest and the giant Troll A platform, the world’s largest offshore gas platform.

SOURCE: ABB Measurement & Analytics