PSL Energy Wins 4.2 Million Norwegian Excavation Contract

PSL Energy Services AS, a wholly owned Norwegian subsidiary of PSL Energy Services Ltd, has been awarded a major seabed excavation contract by Hydro worth more than £4 million.

The contract is for seabed excavation forming part of Hydro's Ormen Lange development, offshore Norway. The Ormen Lange gas field is situated 120 km northwest of Kristiansund, and will eventually provide 20% of all the UK's natural gas.

The development scenario chosen for Ormen Lange is by subsea tie-back 120km to a shore terminal at Nyhamna on the island of Gossen in Norway. The subsea facilities will be connected to the shore terminal through six separate conduits:- two 30" pipelines; two 6" MEG lines and two control umbilicals/services lines.

The pipeline routes between Gossen and the Ormen Lange field pass over the Storegga slide, a pre-historic subsea landslide area with a highly irregular and steeply sloping seabed surface. In the slide area the water depth increases from 250m to 1200m over a short distance.

Prior to laying the pipelines and umbilicals, routes must be prepared on the seabed to prevent unacceptable free-spans of pipe between seabed features. This involves cutting corridors through seabed undulations in a large number of locations and following a successful offshore trial undertaken in June 2004, PSL has been awarded a contract to excavate these corridors.

The contract, valued at approximately 50M NOK, which is equivalent to £4.2M GBP, includes supply of the support vessel, ROV, survey system and excavation technology.

PSL will contract the new deepwater intervention vessel 'Island Frontier' to perform the work. This highly advanced DP3 vessel is owned by Norwegian company, Island Offshore, and has an integrated module handling tower designed for deployment and recovery of subsea lubricators. The tower has fully active heave compensation for loads up to 70 tons. For the Ormen Lange project PSL will add a drill-string deployment capability to the tower.

The seabed excavation will be undertaken using a suite of innovative deepwater subsea jetting and dispersal technologies including the patented Jet Prop and Clay Cutter systems. These tools are deployed to the seabed on drill-pipe and powered by 10,000 HP of water pumps on the vessel deck.

PSL will also add a full survey capability to the vessel, capable of providing 3D seabed charts to an accuracy of a few centimeters.

Tom Hasler, PSL's pipelines and excavation manager, said: "This a highly important and exciting contract for PSL Excavation Services to win and we have worked with the Hydro Ormen Lange team to provide a bespoke offshore spread ideally suited to their requirement.

"The award recognises the innovative remote seabed excavation technology developed by PSL over the past 12 months in response to the extremely challenging seabed conditions, water depth and environmental conditions at Ormen Lange."

Ole Grimsmo, general manager of PSL Energy Services AS in Stavanger, said "This contract award represents a milestone for the company and is in line with our ambitious expansion goals for PSL in the Norwegian Sector.

"The Ormen Lange development is a high profile project and, as such, an ideal showcase for our innovative services. The contract enhances PSL's reputation for supplying the highest quality of project services to oil and gas operators world-wide."