New Module Gives New Life to Oseberg East

Oseberg Field - North Sea
(Click to Enlarge)
A barge loaded with a 960-ton mud treatment module will be towed out from Egersund in the middle of June. In the beginning of July there will be a massive lifting operation at sea, in order to place the huge module aboard the Oseberg East platform located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Hydro is rebuilding the Oseberg East platform, in order to be able to drill new wells.

"The aim is to extract more oil. We envisage that we will be able to extract 40 million new barrels of oil, so that we can extend the life of the platform by seven years, until 2024," says Jan Arve Haugan, Hydro's Senior Vice President for Oseberg-Grane.

The drilling rig Borgila Dolphin supported the last drilling campaign, which started in 1998. By the time the next drilling campaign starts, at the beginning of 2007, Oseberg East will have been rebuilt in such a way that it can carry out drilling operations without using support vessels.

In addition to the 20-meter-tall mud treatment module, a 60-tonne turbine-driven power generator and a 68-tonne transformer module will be transported out to Oseberg East on the same barge.

A heavy load
In order to lift the modules aboard Oseberg East, Hydro has hired the crane vessel Saipem 7000. The Oseberg East platform will be dwarfed by the massive crane and pipelaying vessel. Saipem 7000 has a rig team and professionals who are trained to receive modules of this kind.

"We have reinforced the substructure and built a foundation on Oseberg East, in order to be able to receive the new modules," Haugan says.

Demanding work
AkerKvaerner in Egersund started to build the mud treatment module last summer. The work has been extremely demanding, with a great deal of equipment installed in compact modules.

"Everything has gone according to the agreed time schedules, and we are very pleased with the work that has been done in Egersund," says Haugan.

The reconstruction work is budgeted at NOK 800 million, and with the ensuing drilling campaign the total investment will amount to NOK 2.1 billion.

New opportunities
The reconstruction work on Oseberg East also includes expansion of the existing living quarters, where the number of beds has been increased from 42 to 62. In addition to new cabins, new and larger lifeboats have already been delivered, as well as a recreation module.

The upgrading investments on Oseberg East are due to be completed by the end of 2006. After the rebuilding work, the platform will have the flexibility to be able to carry out a number of future drilling campaigns. So far seven new wells are planned on Oseberg East.

Some of the most important suppliers for the reconstruction work on Oseberg East:

  • AkerKvaerner in Egersund: Building of the mud module and a new transformer module
  • MH in Kristiansand: Design of the mud treatment module
  • Leirvik Module Technology: Delivered extended living quarters last year
  • Norsafe: Has delivered new lifeboats
  • Siemens UK: Will supply new generator/power pack
  • Saipem UK: Will carry out the big lifting operations offshore
  • AkerKvaerner in Bergen: Will carry out integration work aboard the platform
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