OSLO, Norway – Aker Solutions has completed upgrades onshore in western Norway to the Equinor-operated Njord A drilling and production platform.
Towing has started to take the facility back to the field location in the Norwegian Sea to resume service for the Njord Future project.
According to Aker Solutions, this was Norway's largest offshore-related renovation project to date. Since signing of the contract in March 2017, the company has performed extensive upgrade work on the hull and the platform deck to extend their lifespan for another 20 years of production.
The company performed most of the engineering at its offices in Bergen, Stavanger, Fornebu and Trondheim, with construction taking place at its Stord and Verdal, supported by 400 supplier companies.
This was the first instance of a production platform on the Norwegian continental shelf being transported to shore for a full series of overhauls and upgrades.
In 2018, Aker Solutions received an additional contract to prepare the platform for receiving oil and gas from the Neptune Energy-operated Fenja field: this called for additional manufacturing and installation work on the facility.
In addition, the company will support Equinor during the offshore hookup phase, preparing the platform to re-start production during the fall of 2022.
Aker Solutions built the platform in the late 1990s, with the deck being manufactured and assembled at Stord ad the hull at Verdal. This was also Norway’s first EPC contract following the introduction of the NORSOK standard.
In recent weeks, the platform has been undergoing sea trials in the Klosterfjorden on Norway’s west coast.
"Compared to the original version of the platform delivered in 1997, it is a quite different platform,” said Carl van der Hagen, project director at Aker Solutions, who was also involved in the construction of the original platform in the 90s.
He added: “Hardly any part of the platform has remained untouched, and the total dead weight has increased by 23%. The upgrades on the hull have increased the platform's buoyancy by 24%, and the payload capacity on the platform deck has increased by 31%.”