Valhall QP topside safely removed

Source: press release, 14 June 2019

The single-lift operation of the original accommodation platform at Valhall (QP) took 2 hours to complete
The single-lift operation of the original accommodation platform at Valhall (QP) took 2 hours to complete (photo: Aker BP)

Aker BP reports that the original accommodation platform at Valhall (QP) in the southern part of the North Sea has been safely removed by the giant vessel Pioneering Spirit. This was the first of the original structures at Valhall to be removed as part of the modernisation of the Valhall field centre.

Executed in the morning of Friday 14 June, the single-lift operation took 2 hours to complete from positioning Pioneering Spirit around the 3800-tonne platform to the moment of the lift. The actual “fast lift” of the topsides took only 9 seconds. The 109-tonne bridge connecting the QP topsides to the neighbouring drilling platform was removed using one of the vessel’s cranes on Tuesday 11 June.

“Together with Allseas and the team at Pioneering Spirit, we have successfully concluded 2 years of engineering, planning and pre-lift preparations. The safe and efficient removal of the QP platform is an important milestone for Valhall and for Aker BP,” says Per Mikal Hauge, Vice president Valhall asset.

Removal of the QP topsides is the first job for Pioneering Spirit under the frame agreement which Allseas signed with Aker BP in 2017 to provide transport, installation and removal services for the Valhall field. The QP topside will be transported to and disposed at the Kvaerner disposal yard at Stord.

The Valhall field was discovered in 1975 and put into production in 1982 with three installations; a process/production platform, a drilling platform and an accommodation platform (QP). More recently a wellhead platform (WP) and Injection platform (IP) was installed. Lastly, production from the new process/accommodation platform (PH) started in January 2013.

The QP topsides is the first of the three original structures to be removed from the field centre. The remaining platforms at the field centre – IP, WP and PH – and the Flank platforms will produce for many, many years to come.

Valhall and Hod have passed one billion barrels of oil equivalents (oil, gas and NGL) produced – thus more than three times what was expected at the opening of the field in 1982.

“The continuous high activity level at Valhall, with simultaneous drilling operations, plugging and abandonment of old wells, removal of the original three platforms, multiple new wells and a the new Flanke West platform soon to be installed demonstrates our determination to reach the ambition of another billion barrels produced from the area,” says Per Mikal Hauge.