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    Work gets under way on Snøhvit pipeline

    Projects and Operations // April 29, 2005
    Statoil says work is underway on laying the main pipeline to carry the wellstream from the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea to the Hammerfest LNG plant on the island of Melkøya in northern Norway.On 18th April, the Solitaire lay barge started laying the 143km pipeline from the western side of Melkøya.The vessel will continue towards the Snøhvit field at a rate of 3-6km per day."Laying the main pipeline means that an important piece of the big Snøhvit jigsaw is falling into place," said Olav Hagland, manager for pipelaying in the Snøhvit project. "There are many factors that play a part in contributing to the success of an operation like this, and the fact that we are operating so far north poses extra logistical challenges."On board the Solitaire, 12.2m long sections of pipe are welded together in a continuous process. The sections are fed out through a stinger at the stern of the lay barge, ensuring that the main pipeline is curved correctly during the laying.Solitaire is supplied with new pipe by three supply vessels which are operating a shuttle service between the lay barge and the pipe storage area at Polarbase outside Hammerfest, Norway.The 28in diameter line pipe is made of steel with an outer coating of reinforced concrete. Each pipe section weighs 8-10 tonnes, with a total of 11,000 sections making up the main line.Laying the main pipeline is expected to be completed at the end of May.

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