The $10 billion Ormen Lange Gas Project combines a remotely controlled deepwater gas field, an innovative landside processing plant and the world’s longest subsea pipeline. Parallax Film Productions profiles the ambitious gas pipeline construction and follows the crews that make it happen.
The gas conduit must span 1,200 kilometres between Nyhamna, Norway and Easington, England. It will take one-third of the world’s pipeline production and laying resources to complete. This connection is only part of the ambitious plan to tap Norway’s second-largest hydrocarbon deposit. Located three kilometers below the ocean's surface and 120 kilometers offshore, this massive find is capable of providing 20 per cent of the United Kingdom's gas needs for decades to come. But it’s beyond the reach of humans: all of the construction has to be completed by ROVs (remote operated underwater vehicles). The Ormen Lange deposit also lies in a disaster zone called the Storegga slide, a geological scar left by a 300-km wide collapse of the Norwegian continental shelf 8,000 years ago.
The pay-off for this ultimate engineering gamble is huge, but so are the risks – great sea depths, highly irregular seabed terrain, strong underwater currents, sub-zero temperatures and extreme wind and wave conditions means one dangerous mission. Significant cultural concerns also come up as the pipe is laid through sensitive archaeological areas.