The world’s largest construction vessel has lifted a 26,000-tonne processing platform into place to ensure the timely startup of Norway’s third largest offshore oil field
Norwegian energy major Equinor’s share price, which had been sliding in the first eight months of the year, received a boost from a US$5Bn share buyback plan that will run through 2022 and the startup of the first phase of Johan Sverdrup, the third largest oil field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
When fully developed, the Johan Sverdrup field will produce 660,000 barrels of oil per day after 2022 and estimated revenue of Nrk1400Bn (US$154Bn) for the next 50 years, of which more than Nrk900Bn (US$99Bn) will go to the Norwegian state and society, according to Equinor executive vice president for marketing, midstream and processing Irene Rummelhoff.
Speeding the startup of the platform were some record-breaking lifts in March by the world’s largest construction vessel, Pioneering Spirit. Using its single lift technology, Pioneering Spirit lifted the 26,000-tonne processing platform topsides and the 18,000-tonne utility and living quarters topside. The 382-m twin-hulled vessel has a 122-m long and 59-m wide slot at the bow that allows it to move around a platform and lift and transport entire topsides using eight sets of horizontal lifting beams. All the lifts for Johan Sverdrup were executed with a 72- hour period.
Equinor will push Pioneering Spirit’s ‘muscle’ beyond its current limits with the removal of the Statfjord A platform, when production is shutdown in 2022. The topside structure of Statfjord A weighs 48,000 tonnes, which will be removed by Pioneering Spirit in a single lift. To perform the lift, however, Pioneering Spirit’s lifting capacity will be upgraded.
Perhaps just as impressive as Pioneering Spirit’s capabilities, Johan Sverdrup will produce its oil while emitting less than 1 kg of CO2 per barrel – well below the industry average of 18 kg of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalents (boe). Part of Johan Sverdrup’s smaller carbon footprint can be traced to its use of renewable electricity produced by onshore hydroelectric plants.
Renewable power play
Similarly, renewable power from the world’s largest floating offshore windfarm will supply electrical power to reduce the CO2 emissions from offshore oil and gas platforms in the Norwegian North Sea by 200,000 tonnes per year.
Equinor plans to develop the Hywind Tampen project to supply electrical power for platforms Gullfaks A, B, C and Snorre A and B. Hywind Tampen’s 11 floating wind turbines will produce 88 MW of power, replacing about 35% of the five platforms’ energy demand, which is currently met by gas turbines.
"Hywind Tampen will be the world’s largest floating offshore windfarm and is vital for industrialising solutions and reducing costs for future offshore wind power projects," says DOF Subsea chief executive Mons Aase.
Norwegian OSV owner DOF Subsea and offshore engineering and fabrication firm Kværner have agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture to collaborate and deliver marine operations for Equinor`s floating offshore windfarm project Hywind Tampen.
The work scope of DOF Subsea and Kværner’s joint venture will provide full project management, engineering, assembly site management, mooring system installation, units tow-to-field and installation of the floating wind turbine units at the Tampen area.
During the project phases, DOF Subsea will deploy several construction vessels, including the 2011-built Skandi Skansen. Well-equipped for offshore construction projects, Skandi Skansen is an STX AH 04 design, with an active heave compensation crane with a capacity of 250 tonnes, an anchor-handling drum with a 500-tonne capacity, two towing drums, four chain lockers, four towing pins and three Shark jaws. Skandi Skansen can also be fitted with an A-frame with a capacity of 260 tonnes. For towing and anchor-handling duties, the vessel has an impressive 349 tonnes of bollard pull. Skandi Skansen has an overall length of 107.2 m, beam of 24 m, draught of 7.8 m, with accommodation for 90.
Hywind Tampen will begin production at the end of 2022.