Kvitebjorn Topsides Ready

The topside for Statoil's Kvitebjorn development has been installed on a barge at the ABB Offshore Systems yard in Haugesund north of Stavanger for tow-out to the North Sea field on March 1st.

Specialists from Dutch transporter Mammoet ensured that the 10,500 tons of structural steel and equipment were loaded out from the fabrication shop, over the quay and onto the barge.

Forty-eight large self-powered transporters with a total of 1,664 wheels were used for the job, reports Inge Klokkeide, Statoil's manager for testing and commissioning.

The topside is about 100 meters long, 45 meters wide and 40 meters tall. Remaining fabrication, testing and commissioning will be done on the barge until the tow-out.

Project director Bjarne Bakken at Statoil reports that plans call for the jacket and topside to be lifted into position on the gas and condensate (light oil) field during March.

Aker Verdal in mid-Norway completed fabrication of the jacket earlier this year, and the structure is spending the winter at parent company Aker Kvaerner's yard in Stavanger.

Hectic activity is under way at fabricator Heerema Tønsberg south of Oslo to finish the Kvitebjorn derrick, drill floor and mud module.

"Completion work on the drilling package is rather behind the topside, but these units will also be ready for installation in March," Mr Bakken says. "The period until drilling begins in August will be used for hook-up, testing and readying for operation."

Leirvik Module Technology built the living quarters for the Kvitebjorn platform, and this unit was installed on the topside during the summer. Work on Kvitebjorn's gas and condensate pipelines is on schedule. They will run to Statoil's Kollsnes and Mongstad plants respectively in the Bergen area, with laying due to start next spring.


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