Norwegian state-controlled oil company Statoil has completed the installation of topsides on its Valemon field platform in the Norwegian North Sea. Located on Blocks 34/11 and 34/10, the structures were built by Samsung Heavy Industries and cost NOK 2.3 billion (USD 367.7 million) over a two-year contract period.
The topsides were built at Samsung’s yard in South Korea. Loading of the topsides on the Dockwise Triumph transport vessel began on 1 June and the load left the yard on 14 June, taking 40 days to reach Norwegian waters.
The Saipem 7000 crane vessel took two hours to lift the topsides, weighing 9,750 tonnes, on to the platform’s steel jacket, which was originally installed at the field in 2012. The flare boom was installed once the topsides were in place. Perfect weather conditions were a major factor during the lifting and installation operations.
Three production wells were pre-drilled through the jacket by the West Elara rig. Well operations at the field are scheduled to resume in mid-October, with production from the three wells planned for the end of 2014. Further drilling at the field is expected to continue until 2017.
Statoil says that over the coming months work will continue to link the wells to the production facilities onboard the platform, and there will be further work to install seawater pumps, and electrical, water and pipeline connections.
Valemon is named after a fairy-tale Norwegian king called the White Bear or Polar Bear King who had two ugly and mean daughters and one who was nice and pretty. This is an apt name for the field that has a very complex geology and a very fragmented reservoir in the Upper Miocene Utsira formation.
A Video Showing Valemon Platform’s Topside Installation
The field is a high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) gas condensate field with reserves of about 192 million barrels of oil equivalent. It is expected to produce 3 billion cubic metres of gas annually at peak output, or 86,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The initial drive mechanism will be pressure depletion, modified later to include compression when the pressure drops.
The field was first discovered in 1985 by Statoil and has required NOK 20 billion of investment to date (USD 3.2 billion). The remaining investment is expected to amount to NOK 19 billion (USD 3.03 billion). It is one of Norway’s largest industrial projects.
The Valemon platform will be unmanned during normal operations and controlled remotely from the Kvitebjorn platform 12 km to the east.
The topside has living quarters with capacity for up to 400 people for use during the hook-up, commissioning and drilling periods as well as for future maintenance work.
Gas-condensate-water separation facilities will be installed on the process deck. The gas itself will be exported via the Huldra gas pipeline to the Heimdal field, which is the transportation hub for gas exports to Europe.
The unstable condensate will be transported to the Kvitebjorn platform for stabilisation and then to the Mongstad refinery onshore, while the water will be re-injected into the Utsira formation.Last updated on 04:19PM - 06/01/15