Aibel starts tenth shutdown at Oseberg

Aibel announced that during the weekend the Company has started shutdown operations at Oseberg oil field in the North Sea. This also marks the beginning of a hectic period with many shutdowns for Aibel.

“Now there will be full activity at both night and day for nearly three weeks,” says Aibel’s shutdown coordinator Arild Tveit.

Aibel is involved with Oseberg through a framework agreement with Statoil for maintenance and modifications and has permanent staff in rotation offshore. However, during the shutdown, activities will be higher. Around 300 Aibel employees will be in action in the field at any time.

Replacing the Sture valve

The installations will be emptied of oil and gas. Work that cannot be performed whilst the fields are in production is now possible. In total, more than 40,000 working hours have been planned across the Oseberg field centre, Oseberg south, C and east.

The majority of the hours will be implemented at the Oseberg field centre. Aibel will, among other things, replace the Sture valve. This is an important activity. The new valve must be installed and operational before production resumes.

“Otherwise no oil will be supplied from Oseberg to Sture,” the shutdown coordinator explains.

“Aibel will also replace the Veslefrikk valve. The flare system will be upgraded with more than 50 new flare pipes. The flare system is the safety system at the platform. We have replaced parts of the system during three shutdowns so far. This time the work is extensive,” he says.

Enormous logistics

Aibel began preparing for the shutdown in August 2013. Nearly 300 engineers have been involved in the work to plan and find new solutions for the required upgrades.

“The engineers handed over their work packages in January. Since then the focus has been on the detailed planning of the work that will be done out there,” Tveit explains.

Prefabrication of pipes and structures began at the end of 2013. Offshore has been working to prepare for the shutdown for several months. All parts and tools have to be in place.

Extensive experience

Aibel has been at Oseberg continuously for 20 years through different framework agreements. The shutdown in 2014 will be the company’s tenth in the field.

“We have many experienced employees in action. The projects have been carefully planned and risks have been assessed. HSE is the first thing on our mind when we get up in the morning and the last thing on our mind as we go to bed. Naturally, we are always concerned about unexpected events and delays but we are as well prepared as we can be,” the shutdown coordinator says.

Over the next few months Aibel will also be involved with major shutdown at Hammerfest LNG, Statfjord and Gullfaks.

Press Release, April 29, 2014; Image: Statoil

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