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  • Ormen Lange is Norway’s second largest gas field and is located at 850 to 1 100 meters sea depth.
  • The reservoir is situated in the Norwegian Sea, 120 kilometres north west for Kristiansund, almost 3 000 meters below the surface of the sea. The Ormen Lange reservoir covers an area of approximately 350 km2 – almost the same size as Molde municipality.
  • The Ormen Lange wells, which are drilled in an area with extreme weather conditions and sub zero temperatures on the sea bed, are the world’s largest in diameter.
  • The concept solution for Ormen Lange includes 24 wells divided between four subsea templates. The fourth template was installed in the northern part of the field in 2011/2012.
  • The well stream is processed at the land facility in Nyhamna, where the gas spend just about ten minutes before it is exported 1 200 kilometres through one of the world’s longest subsea pipelines, Langeled, to Easington in England.
  • Ormen Lange has established Norway as the second largest exporter of gas in the world after Russia.
  • Ormen Lange also produce a significant amount of condensate, in fact as much as a medium-sized oil field.
  • Both the expansion and the further development of Ormen Lange consist of large sub-projects which demands new technology and innovation.
  • The licence partners in Ormen Lange are Shell (operator), Statoil, Petoro, Dong and ExxonMobil.


Fast Fact
Fast Fact
Fast Fact

Nyhamna before and after the development of Ormen Lange.


Ormen Lange is the largest industrial project ever in Norway and Nyhamna was Norway’s largest industrial work site during the development phase. A total of 20,000 people from more than 50 countries took part. Hydro was operator during the development, while Shell took over as operator on December 1st 2007.

Ormen Lange year by year

2004 Construction start -up

On 16 April the first ground was broken at the construction site at Nyhamna. Norway’s largest development project is underway. In September the same year work was ongoing day and night blasting the large mountain halls for storage of light oil. A total of 2.4 million cubic metres of rocks were blasted during the course of a year and a half.

2005 The year of concrete

The Nyhamna facility starts to take shape. Foundations for buildings and equipment are laid, concrete columns shoot up and cable trays are installed. A total of 200,000 cubic metres of concrete is used for casting and concrete work this year. The drillship West Navigator starts drilling the first well on the Ormen Lange field.

2006 The year of pipes

A total of 30,000 tonnes of steel is used for pipe structures at the facility. With nearly 3,000 rooms, the site hotel is one of the world’s largest accommodation facilities this summer. The Coastal Steamer also has to be hired to make sure there are beds for all the workers.

2007 The year of commissioning

The facility is completed, tested and commissioned. On Thursday, 13 September at 11:02 hours gas production starts from the Ormen Lange field.


 The gas is produced from well templates which are located between 850 to 950 metres below the sea surface, and is processed at the onshore facility at Nyhamna in Aukra municipality, 120 kilometres from the field. The gas from Ormen Lange is exported to the UK through Langeled, one of the world’s longest subsea pipelines


A) Nyhamna Land Facility

B) Storegga

One of the major challenges facing the development was the laying of the pipelines across Storegga, which is a precipice with a sheer drop of several hundred metres.

C) Drillship

The drillship West Navigator drills the world’s largest gas wells on Ormen Lange.

D) Pipeline systems

Gas is transported through pipelines from the reservoir in the Norwegian Sea to the gas plant at Nyhamna.

E) Subsea templates

The wells are drilled through the templates, which are located at almost one thousand meters below the surface of the sea.

F) The wells

Each well template can support up to eight wells.

G) The reservoir

The reservoir covers an area of about 350 km2, and is located about 3,000 metres below the surface of the sea.

H) Langeled

The export pipeline Langeled consists of 100,000 pipes. Each pipe is 12 metres long and weighs up to 25 tonnes. A total of 1.2 million tonnes of steel was used to construct the gas pipeline.

Fast Fact


1) Landfall

The land facility is tied into the offshore installations in the landfall. All pipelines from and into the facility go through the landfall; pipes with antifreeze to the field, gas pipes to the facility and outgoing gas pipe (Langeled). Umbilicals to the subsea wells also go from here.

2) Slug catcher

The process of separating gas and liquid starts here. Nature’s own principle is used for this. Gas rises and is collected in large, vertical pipes, light oil and water are collected at the bottom of the inclined pipe structure.

3) Turbo expander and dehydration tower

These systems dewpoint the gas. Water is removed in the dehydration tower while remnants of light oil are removed in the turbo expander using pressure and temperature

drops. The remaining gas is liquid-free and is called dry gas.


4) Compressor

What propels the gas through the pipeline to England is gas pressure. The gas must therefore be compressed. Outgoing gas has a pressure of 230 bar.

5) Main separator

While the gas is routed to England, the liquid ends up in a large tank; the main separator. Water and antifreeze are heavier than oil and end up at the bottom, while the light oil settles on the top. The antifreeze is routed to site 6, the water to site 7 and the light oil to site 8.


6) Antifreeze facility

The reservoir temperature is as much as 96 degrees Celsius, while the temperature at the bottom of the sea is below freezing. Antifreeze must thus be added to prevent icing in the pipes. Antifreeze is recycled in the recycling plant at site 6 b.


7) Water treatment plant

The water from the reservoir is treated here. It can contain remnants of both oil and antifreeze. A biochemical treatment plant with specialised bacteria that devour the remaining hydrocarbons and thus purify the water before it is released.


8) Mountain halls

Two large mountain halls are located under ground level, so-called caverns. The light oil is stored here directly in the bedrock. Ground water creates overpressure around the mountain halls and ensures that the light oil does not leak out.


9) Export quay

From here tankers transport light oil to refineries all over the world. The light oil is used to produce various oil products such as petrol, asphalt and plastics.


10) Flare boom

The flare boom is 65 metres high and functions as a safety valve at Nyhamna. The rock-covered surrounding area is the safety zone.

11) Test Pit Subsea Compression

Test pit for a full-scale compression train, as well as a process module that can simulate conditions on the seabed.


12) Control room and administration

The entire facility is managed and monitored from the control room in the administration building. The building also contains a laboratory, simulator, workshop and emergency response station.

Fast Fact

The Nyhamna Expansion project will enable the Nyhamna land facility to receive and process gas from other fields. Ormen Lange’s first phase of compression is also included in the Nyhamna Expansion project, with the installment of two compressors onshore.

Nyhamna was originally developed with a process capacity of 70 million standard cubic meters gas per day. After the expansion the capacity will be 84 million, thus responding to the volumes the export pipeline, Langeled, is dimensioned for.

Installation of two new onshore compressors

These two compressors will help transport the well stream from Ormen Lange from 850 meters to shore, as the first part of Ormen Lange’s future need for compression, before compression

is installed out on the field. This will contribute to increased production of Ormen Lange gas.

Facilitation for connecting new pipeline from the Norwegian Sea to the Nyhamna gas plant

A new pipeline, Polarled, will be connected to the land facility at Nyhamna. Initially, this pipeline will transport gas from the Statoil operated Aasta Hansteen field to Nyhamna. Polarled will, in the longer term also provide other fields the opportunity to connect to the process and export facility at Nyhamna. This will make Nyhamna a gas hub for several fields in the Norwegian Sea.

Expansion of the capacity at Nyhamna

Nyhamna will be upgraded in order to receive and process increased amounts of gas. This includes:

  • Development of facilities to receive 3rd party gas.
  • Upgrading of the support systems to handle increased amounts of gas.
  • Construction of a fourth export compressor in addition to the three existing ones, this to increase the export capacity in Langeled.

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