Martin Linge oil and gas field is being developed in the Norwegian North Sea. Image courtesy of Equinor Energy.
Martin Linge’s operatorship was transferred from Total to Equinor in March 2018. Image courtesy of Equinor Energy.
KNOT’s shuttle tanker Hanne Knutsen has been converted into the Martin Linge FSO. Image courtesy of Total.

Martin Linge is an offshore oil and gas field located 42km west of the Oseberg field in the Norwegian North Sea in 115m of water.

Situated 180km off the coast of Norway near the border of the UK sector of the North Sea, the field is estimated to contain recoverable resource of more than 300 million barrels oil equivalent (Mboe).

Martin Linge is owned by its current operator Equinor (formerly Statoil, 70%) and Norway’s state-owned Petoro (30%). The field was previously owned by the French energy company Total (51%), Petoro (30%) and Statoil (now Equinor, 19%).

Equinor acquired Total’s 51% equity stake in the offshore project for $1.45bn in March 2018 to hold 70% ownership and become the operator of the field.

First oil from the field was scheduled for 2017, but delayed due to a tragic crane collapse incident in Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea May 2017, where Martin Linge platform was being built, that killed six people and injured 20.

The field is now scheduled to commence production in 2019.

Discovery and reservoir details

Martin Linge oil and gas field was discovered in 1978 with the drilling of 30/7-6 R discovery well and was appraised by the drilling of four appraisal wells from 1981 and 1984.

Martin Linge has a highly complex high-pressure and high-temperature (HPHT) reservoir containing both oil and gas.

The oil from the reservoir will be produced by natural water drive and gas lift, whereas the gas will be recovered by pressure depletion.

Martin Linge field development

The plan for development and operation (PDO) of the Martin Linge field with an estimated capital investment of $4.2bn was approved in 2012.

Five oil production wells and four gas production wells were drilled as of March 2017, while drilling of two more gas production wells is in progress as of June 2018.

The field infrastructure will include a standalone fully-integrated production platform with living quarters and a permanently anchored floating, offloading and storage unit (FSO).

The field will be fully electrified from the shore via a 160km-long 100kV AC subsea cable connected to a new onshore substation at Kollsnes in western Norway. At 160km length, it is considered to be the world’s longest AC subsea link.

The power from shore (PFS) cable also incorporates three bundles of 24 optical fibres each, which will allow Martin Linge platform operations to be remotely controlled from the shore at Stavanger.

The platform jacket for the offshore field was installed in 2014.

Martin Linge platform details

Martin Linge integrated wellhead, production and accommodation platform consists of 25,000t topsides on an eight-legged steel jacket.

The topsides of the platform include utility, process and flare modules, as well as an accommodation module having 95 single-bed cabins.

The process and utility modules for the platform were loaded out at Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea in December 2017. The two modules weighing 20,000t in total were transported by Black Marlin, a heavy lift semi-submersible vessel owned by Dockwise.

Martin Linge FSO details

A shuttle tanker named Hanne Knutsen has been converted into a FSO unit for operations on the Martin Hinge field. The FSO is chartered for a period of eight years, extendable up to four optional years.

The 269.4m-long, 42.5m-wide and 22m-high tanker weighing 30,000t underwent significant modification as part of the conversion process.

The Martin Linge FSO is equipped with Wash Tank Technology, patented by Total, for oil processing on a floating vessel. The cargo tanks of the vessel have been restructured to make room for the two parallel washing systems where oil will be separated from water. Each washing system comprises two 8,500m³ tanks.

The helideck has been replaced with a new structure to allow new installations and the hull structure has been modified to fit a submerged turret loading buoy system. The FSO weighs   approximately 37,000t after conversion.

The Martin Linge FSO conversion was completed at Remontowa Shiprepair Yard in Gdansk, Poland, by April 2017.

Anchored roughly 3.5km from the platform, the FSO will also feature a remote-controlled system allowing for the processing of oil and water to be controlled from onshore at Stavanger, Norway.

Oil and gas export from Martin Linge

Martin Linge gas will be exported to the Shell-Esso Gas and Liquid (SEGAL) terminal at St. Fergus, Scotland, via a 70km-long, 24in diameter pipeline to be tied to the 32in diameter Frigg UK pipeline (FUKA) at TP1 bypass spool.

The extracted liquid from Martin Linge production wells will be processed on the platform and then sent to the FSO via 12in diameter insulated flexible pipeline for further oil-water separation, liquid stabilisation and storage. Processed oil from the FSO will be transported by shuttle tankers.

Residual water from the FSO will be transferred back to Martin Linge platform via a 10in diameter insulated flexible pipeline for re-injection into wells.

Contractors involved

Subsea 7 was awarded the $800m engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPIC) contract for the subsea, umbilical, riser and flowline (SURF) facilities of the Martin Linge field development, in November 2012.

Technip together with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) was awarded a $1.25bn contract for the engineering, procurement, fabrication, transportation, hook-up and commissioning of the topsides of Martin Linge platform in December 2012. Technip’s share of the contract was $780m.

SHI was responsible for the construction and transportation of the process, utility and flare modules of the platform.

Sweden-based company Apply Emtunga was subcontracted to provide the accommodation module of the Martin Linge platform, in February 2013.

WorleyParsons was awarded a $92m contract by Technip in February 2014, for hook-up and commissioning of the Martin Linge platform.

The charter agreement for the use of Hanne Knutsen shuttle tanker as the Martin Linge FSO was signed with Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers (KNOT) in December 2013.

Polish shipbuilder Remontowa was awarded the Martin Linge FSO conversion contract in March 2014.

Novenco Offshore provided HVAC equipments for the FSO conversion, while Valvison supplied valves for the FSO.

Protea manufactured and supplied the cranes for Martin Linge FSO in January 2016. Maersk Drilling was awarded a contract extension, in December 2017, for the use of Maersk Intrepid jack-up rig at the Martin Linge field.

IKM operations were awarded a $69m-worth three-year maintenance and support service contract for the Martin Linge development, in April 2013.

Global Eagle’s subsidiary General Industry Systems (GIS) was awarded a three-year maintenance and service contract for the telecom system of Martin Linge field, in April 2017.

Presight Solutions, a company based in Norway, was contracted in November 2017 to deliver barrier performance monitoring software solution for the offshore field operation.