is the largest natural gas field
in development on the Norwegian continental shelf
. The field is situated 120 km
northwest of Kristiansund
, where seabed depths vary between 800 and 1,100 metre
. The reservoir is approximately long and wide, and lies about 3,000 metres below sea level
. Proven gas reserves reach 397 billion cubic meter (bcm).
Total cost is estimated to reach 66 billion Norwegian kroner (around 12 billion USD) by the time of completion.
Extreme natural conditions at the site (subzero temperatures most of the year, stormy seas, strong underwater currents, uneven seabed) put great demands on the technology used in the project. The Storegga Slides
that occurred in the area about 8,000 years ago have been investigated, with the conclusion that the risk of recurrence is negligible.
Concepts and solutions
The Ormen Lange field will be developed without using conventional offshore platforms. Instead, 24 subsea wellheads in four seabed templates on the ocean floor are connected directly by two pipelines to an onshore process terminal at Nyhamna
. After processing the gas will be exported by the world's longest subsea export pipeline - Langeled pipeline
- approximately from Nyhamna to Easington
. The northern section of the export pipeline will have a diameter of , and the section from Sleipner to Easington will have a diameter of . Production started in October 2007
. The field will produce 70 million cubic meter of natural gas
per day. Gas from Ormen Lange will be able to meet up to 20% of Britain’s gas demand, for up to 40 years.
The King of Norway attended the official opening of this project, delivered on time and inside budget, on October 6, 2007, at the Aker football stadium in Molde.
Ownership and operators
Several companies share ownership of Ormen Lange.
Ormen Lange was operated by StatoilHydro during the development stage. On 30 November 2007, Norske Shell took over as the operator.
(the long serpent) is the name of the most famous longship
of Olaf Tryggvason
, a 10th century Viking
king of Norway.