Industry journal OffshoreTechnology.com features a comprehensive article on maintenance challenges of submerged pipelines in the North and Norwegian Seas. Norway is Europe’s biggest producer of crude oil and natural gas, and respectively the fifth and third biggest producer in the world; there are over 6,000 miles of pipelines crossing the seabed between Norwegian offshore oil and gas fields, mainland Norway, and other European countries that process and consume these petroleum products.

This network of pipelines is a crucial part of the European fossil energy backbone – the Langeled pipeline alone, designed to carry gas from the Ormen Lange offshore fields to Nyhamna pipeline terminal in Norway, and then to cross the sea to the Easington Gas Terminal in the UK, can deliver up to 20% of Britain’s peak gas demand. Until recently, it was the longest gas pipeline in the world.

The article discusses the challenges of maintaining pipelines and the various threats that they are subject to – for example, larger pipelines are typically resting on the sea bed, and can be damaged by trawling and anchor drops. Depending on the location, inspections may suffer from lower visibility or turbulent weather.

Pipeline inspection has been made easier in recent years with technological improvements that allow for better flaw and corrosion detection. Underwater pipe maintenance has also become easier with better tools. Read more at the source to find out more about maintaining pipelines on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

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