Polish firm launches world’s longest heated gas pipeline

Poland’s state-owned oil and gas firm PGNiG has launched the first part of a heated pipeline that will connect three of its Norwegian production wells with a floating production and storage unit. At 14.5 kilometres in length, it is the longest such installation of its type in the world.

The Electrically Heat Traced Flowline (EHTF) aims to decrease the risk of pipes becoming blocked by hydrates, an ice-like mixture of water and methane that is particularly common in the Ærfugl gas field, where the pipeline plunges to 400 metres below sea level and temperatures drop to 3°C.

The pipeline is heated through wires in an insulated space between the inner and outer pipe. ­”[It] is the longest installation of this type in the world and the first one longer than 1.5 kilometres,” said PGNiG’s CEO Paweł Majewski.

“The success of the project opens new perspectives for the development of offshore deposits,” he added, noting that it would enable connections between even more remote fields and existing production infrastructure in a “more cost and energy effective manner” than other available solutions to mitigate hydrate formation.

The heated pipeline will also “reduce the total carbon footprint” associated with the exploitation of remote deposits, claimed Majewski. His firm estimates recoverable resources of gas-condensate at the Ærfugl field at 274.7 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 210 million are yet to be extracted.


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