Gangway speeds Valhall Flank West hook-up

July 2, 2019

Offshore staff

LYSAKER, NorwayAker BP has completed its first offshore campaign using a gangway to provide access from a vessel to an unmanned platform.

This was for the initial hook-up phase on Valhall Flank West in the southern Norwegian North Sea, which started on June 20, soon after the newly installed topsides had been secured to the jacket.

Early start-up was possible thanks to transport of personnel to the platform via the Ampelmann-supplied walk-to-work gangway on the Normand Jarstein vessel.

Michael Bible, Valhall Flank West project manager, said: “Around 100 workers have lived on the vessel and been transported over to the platform. We have completed more than 1,300 crossings during the course of this first hook-up phase, which lasted nine days.

“The vessel has connected to the wellhead platform 50 times and we have had no system failures.” The platform has been designed specifically to receive a gangway from a W2W vessel, he added.

“Use of the W2W vessel has allowed us to increase the number of people working on the unmanned platform in this phase of the hook-up operation, compared with what would have been the case if we had to rely on helicopters to transport the personnel.”

For this campaign, the bridge was disconnected, and the vessel moved away from the platform after each transfer of personnel.

The jackup Maersk Invincible is now at the field to drill wells and serve as an accommodation rig through the remaining hook-up and commissioning period. Aker BP expects first production from Valhall Flank West this fall.

In the central Norwegian North Sea, the semisubmersible Scarabeo 8 has finished drilling the Froskelår Nordøst exploration well 24/9-15 S and appraisal well 24/9-15 A on the Frosk oil discovery for Aker BP in license PL340.

Well 24/9-15 S, targeting injectites in the Intra Hordaland group, encountered a 49-m (161-ft) vertical oil column with sandy layers and an oil/water contact at 1,836 m (6,024 ft) below the sea surface.

The NPD assesses the size of the discovery in the range 0.3-1.6 MMcm of recoverable oil and it also extends into neighboring license PL869. The licensees will assess development potential with other nearby finds.

As for the Frosk appraisal well, this intersected 50 m (164 ft) of oil-bearing injectite zones with good reservoir properties in the Hordaland group, and no oil/water contact.

Aker BP now plans to start test production later this summer from bilateral wells in the Frosk reservoir, for an initial period of six months, via the subsea template on Bøyla. The oil will be transported 26 km (16 mi) north to the Alvheim (FPSO).

The main aim will be to reduce the risk associated with recovering these resources.

The Scarabeo 8 will next drill a production well on the Marulk field in the Norwegian Sea for Vår Energi.