Equinor commissions studies, issues contracts for three projects offshore Norway

Nov. 23, 2021
Equinor has awarded Aibel contracts for three projects on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Offshore staff

STAVANGER, NorwayEquinor has awarded Aibel contracts for three projects on the Norwegian continental shelf.

One is for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) for an unmanned processing platform (UPP) at the Krafla field, part of the NOAKA project.

Aibel’s NOK180-million ($20.17-million) study, a continuation of pre-FEED work issued in 2020, will form the basis for connecting the facility to the proposed hub platform operated by Aker BP to serve fields in the North of Alvheim (NOA) area.

In June 2020, the licensees in Krafla, NOA, and Fulla agreed on a coordinated development of the fields. Equinor operates Krafla in the north, and Aker BP operates NOA Fulla in the south.

Equinor’s UPP will be connected to subsea installations on the Askja, Krafla, and Sentral fields. Operations will be run remotely from Equinor’s center at Sandsli in Bergen.

Power for Krafla and NOA Fulla will be supplied from shore via a submarine cable to be laid from Samnanger in Vestland county.

An investment decision should follow at the end of 2022, at which point supplier selections will also be confirmed.

Another FEED study, including an option for an extended FEED, concerns topsides modifications for tying the Asterix gas discovery in 1,350 m (4,429 ft) of water to Equinor’s Aasta Hansteen spar platform, 80 km (49.7 mi) to the east.

Value of the study is just above NOK75 million ($8.4 million), and the award includes an implementation option for the modifications, estimated at over NOK1 billion ($112 million).

This includes a new 430-metric ton (474-ton) module to be assembled in the North Sea Hall at Aibel’s yard in Haugesund.

Asterix will help extend the life of the Aasta Hansteen field, where production is set to drop below plateau in 2026 when Asterix is due to be phased in.

The gas will be processed on the platform and then transported via the Polarled pipeline to the terminal at Nyhamna, western Norway. Facilities will include a subsea template at Asterix with three gas producer wells and a new 80-km subsea pipeline.

FID is anticipated in 4Q 2022. Other partners are Wintershall Dea, Petoro, and Shell.

Finally, Equinor and its partners in the Gina Krog license in the Utsira High area of the North Sea have committed to a new oil export solution.

Production will be exported from the Gina Krog field via a new 23-km (14.3-mi) pipeline between the platform and Sleipner A, replacing the Rangfrid FSO in 2024.

Aibel’s NOK500-million ($56-million) contract covers modifications to tie both platforms to the new pipeline.

This is the company’s fourth modifications award in the Sleipner area, where Equinor/Aibel work together in a portfolio organization.

Removal of the FSO should cut CO2 emissions from the field by around 18,000 metric tons (19,842 tons) annually, and the new pipeline should lower annual operating costs while also helping to extend field production.

Other partners are PGNiG Upstream Norway and KUFPEC Norway AS.