Pioneering Spirit to Install Johan Sverdrup Living Quarters

March 15, 2019

The Kværner yard with the Johan Sverdrup processing platform in view, and the living quarters and Njord in the background. (Photo: Roar Lindefjeld - Espen Rønnevik)
The Kværner yard with the Johan Sverdrup processing platform in view, and the living quarters and Njord in the background. (Photo: Roar Lindefjeld - Espen Rønnevik)

The fourth and final platform for the first phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup project offshore Norway is ready for sail-away from Kværner’s yard on Stord, to be transported about 140 kilometers west of Stavanger and installed in a single lift by specialist mega vessel Pioneering Spirit.

“This is an important day for Equinor, the Johan Sverdrup partnership and the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). This is the last platform in the first phase of the project development, and the completion of the living quarters topside takes us one significant step closer to the start-up of Norway’s big source of income for the next 50 years,” said Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.

The Johan Sverdrup field – owned by license partners Equinor, Aker BP, Lundin Norway, Petoro and Total – is expected to provide value and revenue to the Norwegian state and society of more than NOK 900 billion over the field’s life, according to operator Equinor.

A joint venture between Kværner and KBR was awarded the NOK 6,7 billion contract in June 2015 for constructing the Johan Sverdrup utility and living quarters topside. Leirvik AS was assigned to construct the living quarters modules for the platform. With 560 beds the Johan Sverdrup living quarters topside is the largest of its kind in Norway.

On February 15 this year the joint venture formally handed over the topside to Equinor, just as planned more than 3.5 years ago. One month later, after further preparations, the living quarters topside is now ready for sail-away to the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea where it will be transported on board the Allseas lifting vessel Pioneering Spirit, which is on a planned break from from Nord Stream 2 pipelaying activities.

“Kværner, KBR and Leirvik have delivered a high-quality platform on time and cost. As regards health, safety and environment, the project had a few incidents in the early phase. But the way our suppliers have turned this around has been commendable, so the overall results also in this area have been good,” said Trond Bokn, senior vice president for the Johan Sverdrup development.

“The platform’s high quality and degree of completion at the moment is vital to be able to start field production as planned in November this year,” Bokn said.

The Johan Sverdrup living quarters topside at Kværner Stord. (Photo: Kværner ASA)

“This is perhaps the closest to a 'plug-n-play' platform of this size we have ever seen, proving that the joint venture in collaboration with Leirvik have delivered an excellent product,” said Aud Hove, Equinor’s project manager for the utility and living quarters topside.

“This is also a result of the good collaboration and high quality in execution which the project has had since day one. We’ve met every milestone as originally planned, which is quite unique,” Hove said.

The high degree of completion has been achieved by, inter alia, use of the Pioneering Spirit lifting vessel. The vessel’s groundbreaking lifting technology enables completion and testing of bigger topsides onshore before they are installed in a single lift offshore. Carrying out the work onshore instead of offshore leads to major savings and reduced health, safety and environment risk.

The single-lift installation technology was introduced globally during the installation of the drilling platform on Johan Sverdrup last summer.

Now the vessel will be put to work again, first by lifting the 26,000-metric-ton processing platform for Johan Sverdrup which according to plan will occur in the next couple of days, before the vessel returns to Stord to pick up the 18,000-metric-ton living quarters topside.

At the Rosenberg WorleyParsons yard in Stavanger yesterday Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partners celebrated that the two last bridges and the flare tower for the processing platform were ready for sail-away to the field.

With this, Johan Sverdrup is ready for installing the five last pieces constituting the first phase of the giant project puzzle.



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