p.2 ~ Statoil commences production at Gudrun

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Project progress

The field was developed with a fixed processing platform supported by a 7,400 ton (6,713 metric ton) steel jacket, which was built at Kvaerner Verdal. The living quarters and helideck were constructed by Apply Leirvik at Stord. The contract included the delivery of a new living quarters module and a capacity of 40 single cabins, an administration center, central control room, and all other necessary facilities required for operation of an offshore camp. The living quarters and helideck were constructed in aluminum, and the design of the structure had to be low in weight with minimum maintenance in operation, and environmentally friendly.

In June 2010, Statoil awarded Aibel a contract to engineer and construct the platform deck, processing facility and to mate the deck with the steel jacket. The topsides were built with a process facility for partial treatment of oil and gas. Aker received a contract to construct the steel jacket, and Saipem received a contract for transport and installation of the platform jacket and topside facilities in June 2010. The company used its semisubmersible crane vesselS7000 to carry out the installation work.

Statoil laid 70 mi (112 km) of pipeline, as well as a 34-mi (55-km) cable on the seabed between Gudrun and Sleipner for electricity.

"On a scale of one to 10, this project is a nine," Construction Manager Askild Mokleiv said, pointing to the large number of people involved and all the supervision of various yards and subcontractors required.

The Gudrun structure is a cut-down version of earlier development concepts, and lacks a drilling derrick, noted Mokleiv. Vertical columns on the jacket mean a rig can slide next to the platform and extend its derrick over the topside well slots.

"Dry wellheads are very important in a high-pressure and temperature field like this," explained principal engineer Petter Gundersen at the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Gudrun could just as easily have been a subsea project, he notes, but the wellheads would then have been wet with interventions and workovers being more expensive and complex. By predrilling wells, production can start earlier, he added.

Gudrun was originally expected to stay onstream until 2016, but its producing life has now been extended by four years – partly because of the decision to develop Gina Krog.

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