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Ashtead Technology supports world-first Northern Lights Carbon Capture development in North Sea

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GLOBAL SUBSEA equipment solutions specialist Ashtead Technology has completed subsea installation monitoring work to support the Northern Lights Carbon Capture Storage project (CCS) in the North Sea.

Developed by Equinor in partnership with Shell and Total, the Northern Lights project is the first of its kind in the region. The project aims to securely collect and transmit CO₂ from onshore sources and store this under the seabed.

This project marks the first occasion Ashtead Technology has been involved in a CCS programme; providing a leading subsea services company with its integrated Deflection Monitoring System (DMS) and associated equipment. The DMS is a suite of structural monitoring systems to assist offshore construction operations, combining powerful software with modular technology.

Using the DMS, Ashtead Technology personnel and equipment successfully monitored the installation of an Integrated Satellite Structure (ISS).

Allan Pirie, chief executive of Ashtead Technology, said: “Our DMS has a strong track record in greenfield projects for oil and gas operators. It reliably and accurately provides real-time guidance during subsea structure placement work, anticipating any issues as the installation work progresses.

“This is the first time we have used its application in the CCS development market. We are very pleased to have seen this successfully completed and to have played a part in the Norwegian sector’s ambitions towards a zero-carbon future.

“We expect to see an increasing demand for our support services across the blue economy industries as our vast years of experience and range of unique technologies are further recognised for projects across the energy transition.”

Ashtead Technology’s dual independent DMS systems monitored and analysed parameters such as structure deflection, heading, pitch, roll and suction can differential pressures in real-time. This method of real-time monitoring is vital during the placement of suction can-based subsea structures as it ensures any potential issues can be acted upon immediately, reducing the risk of structural damage.

During the placement of the structure, the DMS system was configured for autonomous independent operations, communicating data to one of the installation ROVs. Advanced positioning tools and measuring sensors enhanced the accuracy of the data collected, ensuring the reliability of the data.

The development of the Northern Lights project is made up of several processes. CO₂ from industrial sources in the Oslo fjord area was first captured, then liquified and transported to an onshore terminal on Norway’s west coast. From there, the liquified CO₂ was transferred by pipeline to a subsea offshore permanent storage location in the North Sea.

The CCS project is instrumental in helping to reduce CO₂ emissions and is a step towards the European Union’s (EU) efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

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