Topside for Johan Sverdrup living quarter all set for sailaway

The fourth and last platform for the first phase of the giant Johan Sverdrup project is now ready for sailaway from Kværner’s yard on Stord to the Johan Sverdrup field offshore Norway.

The Johan Sverdrup living quarters topside at Kværner Stord. (Photo: Kværner)

With 560 beds, the Johan Sverdrup living quarter topside is the largest of its kind in Norway, which will be installed in a single lift, Equinor, the operator of the project, said on Friday.

Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway, said: “This is an important day for Equinor, the Johan Sverdrup partnership and the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). This is the last platform in the first phase of the project development, and the completion of the living quarter topside takes us one significant step closer to the start-up of Norway’s big source of income for the next 50 years.”

The Johan Sverdrup field – owned by license partners Equinor, Aker BP, Lundin Norway, Petoro, and Total – is expected to provide value and revenue to the Norwegian state and society of more than NOK 900 billion over the field’s life.

A joint venture between Kværner and KBR was awarded the NOK 6.7 billion contract in June 2015 for constructing the Johan Sverdrup utility and living quarter topside. Leirvik was assigned to construct the living quarter modules for the platform. At peak, more than 2000 people have been involved in constructing the platform.

On February 15 this year the joint venture formally handed over the topside to Equinor, just as planned more than 3 ½ years ago. One month later, after further preparations, the living quarter topside is now ready for sailaway to the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea where it will be transported on board the lifting vessel Pioneering Spirit, which recently paused its Nord Stream 2 work for this job.

On Friday, Equinor and other licensees, KBR and Kvaerner celebrate the sailaway of the platform, with a symbolic release of the mooring lines of the platform. In the following days, the platform will be towed out of the dry dock at Kvaerner’s Stord facility and transported to field by Pioneering Spirit.

The Kværner yard with the Johan Sverdrup processing platform in view, and the living quarters and Njord in the background. (Photo: Roar Lindefjeld – Espen Rønnevik)

Trond Bokn, senior vice president for the Johan Sverdrup development, said: “Kværner, KBR and Leirvik have delivered a high-quality platform on time and cost. As regards health, safety and environment, the project had a few incidents in the early phase. But the way our suppliers have turned this around has been commendable, so the overall results also in this area have been good.”

“The platform’s high quality and degree of completion at the moment is vital to be able to start field production as planned in November this year,” said Bokn.

“This is perhaps the closest to a «plug-n-play» platform of this size we have ever seen, proving that the joint venture in collaboration with Leirvik have delivered an excellent product,” says Aud Hove, Equinor’s project manager for the utility and living quarter topside.

Equinor said that the high degree of completion has been achieved by, inter alia, use of the Pioneering Spirit lifting vessel. The vessel’s lifting technology enables completion and testing of bigger topsides onshore before they are installed in a single lift offshore. Carrying out the work onshore instead of offshore leads to major savings and reduced health, safety and environment risk, the company stated.

The single-lift installation technology was introduced globally during the installation of the drilling platform on Johan Sverdrup last summer.

Now the vessel will be put to work again, first by lifting the 26,000-tonne processing platform for Johan Sverdrup which according to plan will occur in the next couple of days, before the vessel returns to Stord to pick up the 18,000-tonne living quarter topside.

At the Rosenberg WorleyParsons yard in Stavanger yesterday Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partners celebrated that the two last bridges and the flare tower for the processing platform were ready for sailaway to the field.

With this, Johan Sverdrup is ready for installing the five last pieces constituting the first phase of the giant project puzzle.

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