AkerBP has started plugging operations at the Valhall field, in what the company is calling a pioneer project that involves fully powering the Maersk Invincible drilling rig from shore.
Image of the Maersk Invincible in the fjord outside Stavanger before being towed out to the Vallhall field. Image from Maersk Drilling.
AkerBP is supplying electricity to the Maersk Invincible newbuild at Valhall in the southern Norwegian North Sea, about 340km southwest of Stavanger.
“It is probably the first time ever a drilling rig is being powered fully from shore,” says AkerBP.
“This is a pioneer project for Aker BP. Electrifying the drilling rig allows us to significantly cut local CO2 and NOx emissions,” says Per Mikal Hauge, AkerBP Valhall field director. “This is in line with our strategy of developing solutions that contribute to minimizing the environmental consequences of our activities.”
The company’s calculations show that electrification of the drilling rig will reduce local emissions by 15,200-tonne of CO2 and 168-tonne of NOx every year.
The Maersk Invincible in under a five-year deal with AkerBP, in which during that time, the jackup will permanently plug a total of 18 wells from the Valhall DP platform.
AkerBP says that plugging wells is a key part of the work to modernize the Valhall field center. The three original platforms from when the field started producing in 1982 – QP, DP and PCP – will be removed. The remaining platforms in the field center – IP, WP and PH – will produce for many years to come.
“The Valhall field receives power from Lista through a 294km long subsea cable. We had available power supply capacity and Maersk Drilling made a commitment to facilitate electrification of the Maersk Invincible when it was built in South Korea,” says Hauge.
The Maersk Invincible started plugging operations on the Valhall field on 28 May. The rig receives power from the Valhall IP platform through a 500m high-voltage cable. Modifications were necessary to prepare for power supply to the rig, the company says.
Aker BP received up to nearly US$5 million (NOK 42 million) in support from the Norwegian business sector’s NOx Fund for the electrification project.
“Aker BP wants to prevent harm to the environment through energy efficiency and reducing emissions to air. With the electrification of Maersk Invincible, we are reducing our emissions even further,” says Hauge.
In early January 2017, Valhall and Hod passed 1 billion boe produced, which is more than three times the volume expected at the opening of the field in 1982. The ambition is to produce a further 500 MMbbl.
Electric power from shore done in 2000
In 2000, the Osprey exploration and production platform received electric power from the Kustatan production facility on the shore of Cook Inlet, Alaska.
Then operator Forest Oil installed the Osprey platform off West Forelands, making it the southernmost exploration and production platform in the inlet
According to the Marine Exchange of Alaska, the platform was innovative in its design in that it receives electrical power from the Kustatan Production Facility on the shore of Cook Inlet. Any oil produced by the platform’s wells was piped ashore to the Kustatan Facility.
Cook Inlet Energy, owned by parent company Glacier Oil and Gas, is the current owner of the Osprey.