Polarled 36in Optima Subsea Connector

Subsea problem solving solution saves money, time, and weight

Subsea problem solving solution saves money, time, and weight

In June 2013, FO&GT was awarded a contract by Statoil to qualify and supply new high integrity connectors for the Polarled 36” Pipeline Project.Polarled is an export line located North within the Arctic Circle, in a water depth of 1,265metres (at Connector installation point). This project serves as an example of the current trend in the subsea industry towards larger diameter export pipelines.

Design requirements for the project included the need for subsea equipment to be efficient in size, weight, and ease of use, all while providing a high integrity, long-lasting solution. The design required a high-integrity 36” clamp connector to be used on an export pipeline end manifold (PLEM). One connector is the main connection for the PLEM to the export pipeline, and the other is the PLR connection on the other end of the PLEM

Designed with operation in the Artic in mind

The connector needed to be designed with operation in the Artic in mind, where windows of time for installation and maintenance are limited because of the harsh environment. As such, Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies designed the Optima Subsea Connector for efficient installation, through both weight reduction of the connector by approximately 160 tonnes, and through reducing installation time, as the 36” Optima Connector can be fully closed in 30 minutes. The result was the ability to complete the project in the targeted window of opportunity and reduction of installation costs.

The scope of work included in-depth FEA studies for various load cases, and building and qualifying a new concept Twin Leadscrew 36” Optima Connector utilizing our proprietary Duoseal metal sealing solution. Hubs, Blinds and other various tooling were also developed for the project. 

The installation called for a unique solution to aid installing the pipeline into the PLEM, and flooding the 285km of 36” pipeline. This device, called a Laydown and Flooding Head, is shown on the transportation stand in the picture below, next to the Optima Connector.


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