Valhall Flank West successfully installed

Source: press release, 22 June 2019

Heerema’s ‘Thialf’ lifting vessel placed the 2000-tonne topsides on the jacket
Heerema’s ‘Thialf’ lifting vessel placed the 2000-tonne topsides on the jacket (photo: Aker BP)

Aker BP reports that the Valhall Flank West topsides were installed on the Valhall field on Saturday, 22 June. This is just 14 months after the first steel was cut at Kværner’s yard in Verdal. Both the topsides and the jacket were delivered ahead of schedule, under budget and with no serious injuries.

Aker BP is the operator of the Valhall Flank Vest with Pandion as partner. The platform is the first to be delivered under the wellhead platform alliance between Aker BP, Aker Solutions, Kværner and ABB. It sailed from Kværner in Verdal on Sunday 16 June and arrived at the field with no carry-over-work from the yard. That means a significant reduction in the work scope offshore.

“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,” says CEO Karl Johnny Hersvik in Aker BP.

“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,” says Hersvik.

Heerema’s Thialf lifting vessel placed the 2,000-tonne topsides on the jacket Thursday evening, 20 June. The entire operation was complete on Saturday morning. Everything went according to plan.

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,” says 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 centre 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,” says Bible.

Valhall has produced one billion barrels since the field opened in 1982. The ambition is to produce another billion barrels over the next 40 years.

“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,” says Valhall asset manager Per Mikal Hauge.

Aker BP is investing NOK 5.5 billion in Valhall Flank West. The break-even price for the development is USD 28.5 per bbl. Around 1,500 people have been involved in the project.

“There is high activity on the Valhall field. Last week, we removed QP from the field centre, 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. What has been installed on the field is of very good quality, and that project has set a new standard for project implementation. Today, I would just like to congratulate everyone who has been involved in the field development so far,” Hauge concludes.