North Sea

UK-based seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services provider Subsea 7 has received a contract from Shell UK for its Fram oil and gas development field in the central North Sea.

The contract, which is worth $135m, includes engineering, procurement, fabrication and installation of a 4.5km in-field pipeline bundle of about 44in in diameter, with integrated manifolds and tie-in structures.

Subsea 7 said it will immediately commence project management and engineering work from its offices in Aberdeen, Scotland, while bundle fabrication will be carried out at its Wester site fabrication yard in Wick, Scotland.

Under this contract, the company will integrate all the required flow lines, water injection lines, gas lift lines, control systems and valves in a single composite bundle.

The company will then test the bundle onshore, tow out and install it in a single operation to allow an optimised offshore installation programme.

Subsea 7 vice president for UK and Canada Steph McNeill said the project, at its peak, will employ more than 300 personnel in the north-east of Scotland and create employment opportunities for several supporting companies in the area.

"Subsea 7 has a well-established track record of safe and successful bundle design, fabrication and installation, with more than 70 bundles produced since our first bundle in 1980," McNeill added.

"Subsea 7 said it will immediately commence project management and engineering work from its offices in Aberdeen."

The Fram field is licensed to Shell, an operator with 32% interest, and ExxonMobil, which is the major shareholder of the field with the remaining 68% through its subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production UK.

At a water depth of about 100 metres, the field is located 220km east of Aberdeen and 50km west of the UK / Norway median line.

As part of the field’s development project Shell will develop eight production wells, one production water re-injection (PWRI) well, two subsea drill centres (east and west) and a subsea flow line bundle, all producing to an FPSO vessel.

Shell will export oil from the field using a tanker and export the rich wet gas through the existing Shell-Esso Fulmar Gas Line, 18km away from the field and the Shell-Esso Gas and Liquids (SEGAL) system.

Image: Nasa’s satellite image of North Sea. Photo courtesy of Southpark.