The Valhall Flank West topsides were installed on the Valhall field on Saturday, 14 months after the first steel was cut at Kvaerner’s yard in Verdal.
Both the topsides and the jacket were delivered ahead of schedule, under budget and with no serious injuries, according to the field's operator Aker BP.
The platform, the first to be delivered under the wellhead platform alliance between Aker BP, Aker Solutions, Kværner and ABB, sailed from Kvaerner in Verdal on June 16 and arrived at the field with no carry-over-work from the yard.
“This is probably the most complete platform ever installed in the North Sea. All planned construction work is complete and just 7% of the commissioning phase remains. I am truly impressed by the job the alliance has done here,” said Aker BP CEO, Karl Johnny Hersvik.
“We see a definite effect from the alliance model in the Valhall Flank West project. Compared with similar projects, we have seen substantial reductions in both cost, engineering hours and construction of the topsides and jacket. Quality has been delivered from day one of the project, and we have not experienced any serious injuries,” Hersvik said.
Heerema’s Thialf lifting vessel placed the 2,000-metric-ton topsides on the jacket at Thursday evening, and the entire operation was complete on Saturday morning.
The critical hook-up work starts almost immediately. Initially, crews will be transported to the platform using vessels. The Maersk Invincible rig is expected to arrive at the field sometime next week. It will drill six wells as part of the project and will function as a living quarters platform in the hook-up and commissioning phase.
“So far, Valhall Flank West has been a fantastic journey and I am proud to lead this team. All the alliances are delivering and the project is successful because we have a solid team that cooperates really well across companies,” said project manager Michael Joseph Bible.
At the Valhall Field Centre, the modification alliance has carried out extensive modifications over the past year to prepare the center to receive the production from Valhall Flank West. In addition, the subsea alliance has laid pipelines and umbilical which are ready to be pulled in now that the platform is in place.
“We are now entering a demanding offshore period, and we will continue the good work in this phase of the project. The most important thing for us is that everyone working in the project return home safely,” Bible said.
Aker BP is the operator of the Valhall Flank Vest with Pandion as partner. First oil is expected in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Valhall has produced one billion barrels since the field opened in 1982. The ambition is to produce another billion barrels during the next 40 years, said Aker BP.
“Valhall Flank West is an important contribution to ensure that we achieve our ambition. The field can contribute around 60 million barrels of oil equivalents to Valhall’s production. The West Flank has capacity for another six wells, and we are now looking into the possibility of more wells and increased value creation from the field,” said Valhall asset manager Per Mikal Hauge.
Aker BP is investing NOK 5.5 billion ($647.7 million) in Valhall Flank West. The break-even price for the development is $28.50 per bbl.
“There is high activity on the Valhall field. Last week, we removed QP from the field center, the first of three old platforms that will be taken away. We are also investing in the future of the field with new wells and plugging of shut down wells. We look forward to starting production from Valhall Flank West in the fourth quarter,” Hauge said.
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