Ormen Lange Heading Straight for Parliament

On December 4th last year, the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the gas field Ormen Lange was submitted to the authorities. Following approval by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the plan will now be processed in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy before the final decision on this enormous development is taken in the Norwegian Parliament.

The plan for development and operation (PDO) for Ormen Lange was unanimously approved with acclamation when it was presented to the other licence partners at the beginning of December last year. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's (NPD's) approval is another step forward.

"We are pleased with the NPD's positive response to the Ormen Lange plan, and that the authorities are on schedule in their processing of the project. The NPD's assessment is a clear reflection of our intentions for the development, so we hope that everything will go smoothly, and it will be approved in the Storting before Easter," says Bengt Lie Hansen, senior vice president in Hydro.

Norway's second largest gas field
Ormen Lange is the second largest gas field in Norway. Approximately 20 billion cubic metres of gas will be exported from the onshore processing plant each year. This will account for around 20 percent of Norway's total gas export. The Ormen Lange gas will be an important factor in the European gas and energy market, and will cover around 20 percent of the UK gas demand.

Extensive development on shore
When the final go-ahead signal is given, there will be nearly 1700 people involved in the development of the onshore processing plant at Nyhamna in Aukra municipality. During the course of the last few months alone, contracts worth more than NOK 12 billion have been awarded. Around a third of these are to Norwegian contractors, who score well in competition with players from other countries.

"We expect to start the development fully in the spring, when the preparation of the site is due to start at Nyhamna in Aukra," says Lie Hansen.

Gigantic dimensions
The Ormen Lange project has a cost frame of NOK 66 billion, NOK 19.5 billion of which has been allocated for the transport system Langeled. This will incorporate the longest underwater export pipeline in the world; 1200 kilometers from Nyhamna in Aukra to Easington in England.

Hydro is operator of Ormen Lange in the development phase, which includes the whole field development, the process plant at Nyhamna and the export pipeline project.

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