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Offshore work in the North Sea proceeding according to plan

The installation of pipeline and other subsea equipment for Solveig and Rolvsnes is fully under way. This is a complicated patchwork of people, vessels and fabrication sites. The project team has made smart choices to ensure progress.

Installation work for the tie-back development of the Solveig field and the long-term production test on the Rolvsnes basement discovery, will be proceeding throughout this spring and summer. Both projects will be tied into the Edvard Grieg field in the North Sea. Pipelines and other subsea equipment are being installed right now to connect the fields to the production platform.

“With so many people and suppliers involved, we are obviously vulnerable to potential infections or consequences of corona measures in Norway and other countries. But we acted early to implement a number of measures to reduce this risk,” says Bjørn Johnsen, Lundin Energy Norway’s project manager for the development project.

“One important measure was changing the sequence of work operations to ensure that we could connect all the pipelines to the platform as quickly as possible. If an infection situation should occur on board the platform, we will still be able to continue installation work on the seabed,” Bjørn Johnsen says.

“Now both the production pipeline and pipelines for gas lift and water injection have been pulled in on the Edvard Grieg deck, thereby eliminating a significant risk factor.”

Testing everyone
The pipelaying vessel Apache II is the key factor in the pipelaying work. The ship is now shuttling between TechnipFMC’s spool base in Orkanger, where the pipes are being fabricated, and the Utsira High in the North Sea where it is laying the pipe on the sea floor and connecting them up to the Edvard Grieg platform.

“Apache II has a crew of about 80 people. Everyone embarking on the vessel is being tested for Covid19 in advance,” Bjørn Johnsen says.

They have secured access to testing equipment and medical personnel locally in Orkanger. The tests are being taken at a time which will ensure that the results are available before the test subjects board the vessel. The period between testing and mustering will be spent in quarantine.

More work in Grimstad
Some of the subsea equipment for the development was fabricated at a shipyard in Spain. But having critical equipment there was assessed as posing a considerable risk. Spain is deeply affected by the corona epidemic, and it could easily become difficult to transport equipment out of the country if the ports were closed.

“So we chose to transport these components to Norway as quickly as possible, even if they weren’t complete. Now the last part of this job will be carried out at Nymo’s shipyard in Grimstad,” Bjørn Johnsen tells us.


Read more about the projects – Solveig and Rolvsnes.