Norwegian oil company Aker BP has moved its Ivar Aasen operations in the North Sea to its offices at Trondheim, becoming the first company on the Norwegian Continental Shelf to operate a staffed platform from an onshore control room.

Ivar Aasen was constructed with two identical control rooms, one on the platform and one onshore. Aker said its plans were always to move operations to land.

The control room monitors production, equipment, facilities and all activity regarding Ivar Aasen operations, and supports activating work permits and preparing for vessels and helicopters arriving within the 500m area of the station. The control room is the only staff operation moving onshore- other offshore staffing on the field will remain as before.

Aker BP secured permission from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to start production on Ivar Aasen in October 2016 and received approval for the onshore control room in November 2018.

Aker BP said in a press release on Wednesday: “There is a lot to be learned from this new method of managing the activity, both for Aker BP and for the industry. Aker BP sees a considerable potential for increased revenues because the subsurface experts are closer to the control room, which can give better mutual understanding and common goals.”

Discovered in 2008, the Ivar Aasen field is located in the northern part of the North Sea, with a water depth of about 110m. The field contains around 200 million barrels of oil equivalent, and is coordinated with the neighbouring Edvard Grieg field, which receives partially-processed oil and gas from Ivar Aasen for further processing and export.