Pigging for friendship
How a routine pigging job has been utilised to improve Anglo-Norwegian relations
As the world’s longest underwater pipeline, Langeled, which opened in 2007, reaches from Norway’s Nyhamna in the area of Aukra to Easington in Yorkshire. Easington is one of the UK’s three major gas terminals, with three plants based there – two owned by BP and one by Centrica.
The Pipeline Inspection Gauge, or PIG, usually used for cleaning and inspecting the 725 mile long Langeled pipeline between Norway and England, was given a new task when it delivered a letter to highlight the pipeline and its capabilities.
The letter, written by the chair of Aukra council Bernhard Riksfjord to his Easington counterpart Stuart Haywood, was decorated with British and Norwegian flags and spoke of shared aims to create and maintain a positive, mutually-beneficial relationship. Together with operators Shell and Gassco, the routine pigging job was utilised by all concerned in order to help cement the important relationships between all parties.
Gassco CEO Brian Bjordal said, “At peak, the UK can cover 20 per cent of its gas requirements from Ormen Lange and Langeled, so this pipeline is crucial for British energy supplies.”
Plans are afoot to maximise the positivity of the project rather than allow potentially-costly issues to fester, by promoting the dual benefits of the Langeled pipeline, with this letter, delivered by PIG, just the beginning.