A total of 21 production shutdowns are planned by StatoilHydro on the Norwegian continental shelf during 2009. This extensive work program aims to achieve safer and more efficient facilities.
In addition to required maintenance and inspection, many installations will be upgraded to expand capacity, implement technical improvements and extend their economic life.
All this will be accomplished during the planned shutdowns, which are known in oil jargon as turnarounds.
Compared with 2008, when 26 shutdowns involved 270,000 work-hours in all, this year's program involves fewer but larger operations. Some 313,000 hours are due to be worked.
Involving the group's own personnel as well as contractor employees along the whole coast, the turnarounds will be completed by Oct. 1 because of gas delivery commitments and weather.
The first shutdown began on Statfjord B as early as Apr. 2, and is a major programme which will be the last on the platform in connection with work to extend the field's production life.
Short and demanding halts are planned on Oseberg in June, with extensive upgrading and project work. That includes repairing the flare system at the field centre and implementing part of the low-pressure project.
Capacity upgrades are on the agenda for Snorre A, while work on Troll A includes preparations for a new gas pipeline to Kollsnes and an expansion of the living quarters.
The turnarounds will affect the following installations and plants: Oseberg, Statfjord, Gullfaks, Snorre, Troll, Kvitebjorn, Visund, Sleipner, Grane, Huldra, Veslefrikk, Brage, Heimdal, Volve, Glitne, Snohvit, Norne, Asgard, Kristin, Njord, Sture and Karsto.
"A successful turnaround is one without serious incidents or lost-time injuries, and which finishes on schedule," said Frode Garmanslund, head of the turnaround management and planning centre for the NCS at StatoilHydro.
"We have prepared thoroughly to succeed in these respects."
The group today begins a long-planned halt on Snohvit and at Hammerfest LNG on Melkoya, which is now producing high levels of liquefied natural gas after a long running-in period.
But some of the seawater heat exchangers there still present challenges. Two of the seven were replaced last autumn, and four more are due to go during a lengthy turnaround after the summer.
Until these replacements are made, production has to be halted to inspect the exchangers. One such shutdown will take place over the next two weeks.
Production will be shut down in the course of the night, and the plant readied for inspection and the necessary improvement work.
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