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June 24, 2019updated 30 Sep 2020 7:42am

Aker BP installs Valhall Flank West topsides at North Sea field

Aker BP has installed the Valhall Flank West topsides on the Valhall oil field, located offshore Norway in the North Sea.

By Umar Ali

Norwegian oil exploration and development company Aker BP has installed the Valhall Flank West topsides on the Valhall field, located offshore Norway in the North Sea.

Dutch marine contractor Heerema used its Thialf lifting vessel to place the 2,000-tonne topsides on the jacket on 20 June and the operation completed on 22 June. According to Aker BP the installations were delivered ahead of schedule, under budget and with no serious injuries.

Aker BP CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik said: “This is probably the most complete platform ever installed in the North Sea. All planned construction work is complete and just 7% of the commissioning phase remains. I am truly impressed by the job the alliance has done here.

“Compared with similar projects, we have seen substantial reductions in cost, engineering hours and construction of the topsides and jacket. Quality has been delivered from day one of the project, and we have not experienced any serious injuries.”

The Valhall oil field is located in the southern area of the Norwegian North Sea, at water depths of 70m and with reservoir depths of 2,400m. The field consists of six platforms and a field centre, as well as two unmanned flank platforms.

Aker BP is the operator of the Valhall field as well as the Valhall Flank West, with Norwegian oil and gas company Pandion as a partner.

The Valhall Flank West is the first platform to be delivered under a wellhead alliance between Aker BP, Norwegian engineering companies Aker Solutions and Kværner and Swiss technology multinational ABB.

Project manager Michael Joseph Bible said: “So far, Valhall Flank West has been a fantastic journey and I am proud to lead this team. All the alliances are delivering and the project is successful because we have a solid team that cooperates really well across companies.

“We are now entering a demanding offshore period, and we will continue the good work in this phase of the project. The most important thing for us is that everyone working on the project returns home safely.”

The Valhall field has produced one billion barrels since opening in 1982, and Aker BP plans to produce another billion barrels over the next 40 years. The company has invested $648m (NOK 5.5bn) in Valhall Flank West, with around 1500 being involved in the project.

Valhall asset manager Per Mikal Hauge said: “Valhall Flank West is an important contribution to ensure that we achieve our ambition. The field can contribute around 60 million barrels of oil equivalents to Valhall’s production.

“The West Flank has capacity for another six wells, and we are now looking into the possibility of more wells and increased value creation from the field.

“There is high activity on the Valhall field. Last week, we removed QP from the field centre, the first of three old platforms that will be taken away. We are also investing in the future of the field with new wells and plugging of shut down wells.

“We look forward to starting production from Valhall Flank West in the fourth quarter. What has been installed on the field is of very good quality, and that project has set a new standard for project implementation.”

Following the installation of the topsides the company plans to start critical hook-up work, with the Maersk Invincible rig set to drill six wells for the project next week. Pipelines and umbilicals for the project have also been laid and will be pulled in now the Valhall West Flank platform is in place.

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