Aibel Bags Johan Castberg M&M Work. Deal to Create Jobs in North Norway

The agreement for Johan Castberg was signed in Stavanger by President and CEO of Aibel, Mads Andersen, and Equinor's chief procurement officer, Mette H. Ottøy. Photo: Kjetil Eide / Equinor
The agreement for Johan Castberg was signed in Stavanger by President and CEO of Aibel, Mads Andersen, and Equinor's chief procurement officer, Mette H. Ottøy. Photo: Kjetil Eide / Equinor

Norwegian offshore engineering and construction services firm Aibel has won a contract with Equinor for Maintenance and Modifications works on Johan Castberg offshore field in the Barents Sea. The work will be carried out from Aibel’s office in Harstad.

The agreement for the Johan Castberg field is an addition to Aibel and Equinor’s existing framework agreement for several fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, including Norne and Aasta Hansteen. 

The agreement is valid from June 1, 2023, and throughout the framework contract until February 2026. Aibel estimates the agreement has an annual value of around NOK 100 million (currently around $9,1 million).

"Project management, engineering and relevant support functions will be located at Aibel’s Harstad office, which will also meet the staffing need for Norne and Aasta Hansteen. Therefore, the agreement is expected to increase staffing and significantly strengthen the organization locally," Aibel said.

“The agreement is a recognition and continuation of the good work we have done for several years in close cooperation with Equinor in northern Norway. At the same time, the agreement forms a solid basis for our overall commitment in the North and our growth ambitions for our organizations in both Harstad and Hammerfest. In just a few years, we want to more than double the number of employees here to around 250 people,” says VP M&M FA in Aibel, John Inge Førland.

Ripple effects in the North

Aibel said the deal included other measures to create "ripple effects throughout North Norway."

For example, Aibel said it would actively recruit its offshore staff for Norne, Aasta Hansteen, and Johan Castberg with personnel living in North Norway (Nordland, Troms and Finnmark). 

In addition, Aibel will find areas of supply from North Norway to other parts of the country, increase the use of North Norwegian subcontractors, and actively work on competence development throughout the region in cooperation with relevant educational institutions, including the Fagskolen i Nord and UiT (University of Tromsø).

The award of the Johan Castberg agreement comes after Aibel and Equinor entered into a 10-year strategic cooperation agreement in May 2022 with a common ambition to make activities in North Norway more robust in a long-term perspective.

The Johan Castberg field is located about 100 kilometers north of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. The planned start-up is the fourth quarter of 2024 after which the field will produce for 30 years. 

The field is being developed with an FPSO vessel and extensive subsea development. The operation of Johan Castberg will be carried out with a supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest and the operating organization in Harstad.

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