Unrewarding power-from-gas effortsAmbition for a “moon landing”

Music 303 metres down

The Troll A platform is renowned for being the tallest structure ever moved by humans. Yet another world record was set there in 2006, when singer Katie Melua gave a concert at the bottom of one of the platform shafts. Never before had such a performance taken place so far beneath the sea.
By The Norwegian Petroleum Museum
- Katie Melua singing and platform manager Jan Hauge playing piano. Photo: Kjetil Alsvik/Equinor

 Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the start to production on Troll set a standard which remains unrivalled in the industry. This seabed concert was proposed by newly appointed offshore installation manager (OIM) Jan Hauge – and the concept was hard to refuse.[REMOVE]Fotnote: This article builds to a great extent on the following sources: Bergens Tidende, “Toppsjefene valgte Katie”, 3 October 2006, https://www.bt.no/kultur/i/58581/toppsjefene-valgte-katie; Fosse, Erik, “Englesang på havets bunn” Bergens Tidende, 3 October 2006, https://www.bt.no/kultur/i/77a7w/englesang-paa-havets-bunn, both accessed 9 March 2022.

The idea received broad support, but the question was who to invite. If one was first going to think big, it might be appropriate to invite global stars like Paul McCartney or Elton John. But Hauge felt such personalities shared a big drawback – one which meant that 22-year-old Melua finally came out top.

“They were all naturally very old,” he said. “Of course, we didn’t want to come across as a sunset industry – we’ve got 60 years ahead of us, after all. And it’s also a bit amusing that Melua will be 81 when Troll comes off stream. She could even sing at the wake.”[REMOVE]Fotnote: Bergens Tidende, “Toppsjefene valgte Katie”, 3 October 2006.

But he did not come up the idea of inviting the Georgian-British singer to perform. She was proposed by Geir Amland, operations vice president for Troll/Kvitebjørn.

Katie Melua singing "Being close to you" 303 metres below sea level on Troll. Film: Equinor


After a safety course, a helicopter flight and a long ride down in the Troll A shaft by lift, Melua reached the geographic low point of her career. At the same time, the world record helped to immortalise it.

Katie Melua taking the safety course at Nutec. Photo: Fredrik Arff/Equinor

Although Covid-19 has made restrictions on gatherings commonplace in 2022, the audience at the Troll A concert was modest by any standard as a result of the safety rules in place. According to the Guinness World Records, only 20 oil workers were able to attend each of the two 30-minute performances given by Melua.[REMOVE]Fotnote: “Deepest underwater concert contained”,  https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/deepest-underwater-concert-contained, accessed 9 March 2022.

It must also be noted that others have topped her record for the world’s deepest concert. On 7 March 2020, for example, the Shaft Bottom Boys performed at 1 893.8 metres below sea level in a Canadian mine at Sudbury, Ontario.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Silver, Rachel,Canadian band performs record-breaking concert below sea level”, 11 March 2020,   https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/news/commercial/2020/3/canadian-band-performs-record-breaking-concert-below-sea-level-612144;  see also: “Deepest concert underground”,  https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/deepest-concert-underground.


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