Research and development

The research and development in Gassco is focusing on carrying out research to meet the needs for continued operation and development of the Norwegian gas transport system. This covers 8800 km of gas pipelines, platforms, gas processing facilities and receiving facilities.

R&D Portfolio
The R&D Portfolio is organised around our main areas of operation within the Norwegian gas transport system. This work covers HSE&Q, processing facilities, receiving facilities, platforms and gas pipelines.

The environment and safety
Gassco has a philosophy of zero harm to people, the environment and material assets. The R&D portfolio covers projects which address different aspects of these topics.
Gassco is given a mandate from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to develop a CO2 transport solution from Mongstad to an offshore storage facility. This work is a part of the carbon capture activities at Mongstad.

Plants and installations
The main goals for this focus area are to protect the processing facilities, receiving facilities and platforms, against major accidents, ensure the desired regularity and continued development of methodologies for optimum operation. These goals are reflected in the key challenges addressed in the R&D work:

- Further development of technology and knowledge which provide quality assurance that barriers function as intended and gives the desired contribution to risk reduction with respect to major accidents
- Continued optimum operation of plants and installations in terms of utilisation and regularity by using or developing new technology and establishing relevant indicators
- Development of technology, tools and methodology to ensure continued progress with risk and condition-based maintenance as well as inspection programmes which safeguard integrity throughout the life time of the assets

Pipeline integrity and prevention of major accidents is vital for the Norwegian gas transport network. With that in mind Gassco has identified the following focus areas within pipeline R&D:

- Further development and improvement of methods for pipeline inspection
- Improvement and development of technology for pipeline repair and tie-in at different water depths.
- The pipelines are located in areas with fishing activities and cargo transport. Early detection of third-party incidents, i.e. trawl boards, anchors and dropped objects, is therefore of vital importance for Gassco.

Capacity and gas quality
Gassco is committed to high quality and high regularity of the gas deliveries to the European market. To achieve this Gassco has identified some topics that still needs to be better understood:

- Maximizing capacity utilization in the transport and process systems by reducing uncertainties and margins in these facilities
- Improved capacity utilization and achieve the right gas quality by developing state of the art models, methods and treatment technologies
- Development of state of the art tools and models for the gas transport system.

Technical service providers
The Gassled joint venture, which owns the gas transport infrastructure, has mandated Gassco as operator to award contracts to companies for the provision of technical operating services.

Such agreements have been concluded with Equinor, for instance, to provide technical operating services at the Kårstø and Kollsnes gas processing plants in western Norway, as well as Shell at Nyhamna. 

Companies serving as technical service providers (TSPs) on Gassco’s behalf are responsible for daily operation and maintenance of plants and installations in the transport system.

Pursuant to its operator agreement and Norway’s Petroleum Activities Act, however, Gassco retains overall responsibility for safe and efficient operation.

Research collaboration
In line with its R&D strategy, Gassco collaborates in this area with companies and institutions which occupy leading positions in their specialist fields.

To expand available technical expertise and reduce costs and risks, the company also participates in joint industry projects (JIPs).

R&D cooperation with the technical service organisations, research institutions and universities is important.

Gassco focuses on developing in-depth knowledge through doctoral theses.

By giving academic communities an understanding of the challenges faced on the Norwegian continental shelf, the company helps to boost knowledge of the gas industry and to focus greater attention on its requirements.