StatoilHydro Lifts Module On Board Sleipner Platform, Extends Field's Life

StatoilHydro ASA has reported that a compressor module of the size of a medium block of flats and a total weight of 1,300 tonnes will be lifted on board the Sleipner B platform in July. This is the heaviest lift StatoilHydro is carrying out this year.

The compressor module will be transported from Haugesund to the Sleipner B platform in the southern part of the North Sea. Sleipner B is normally unstaffed and is the smallest of StatoilHydro’s stand-alone platforms. This is the platform that will carry the gigantic module measuring 27 times 15 times 28 meters. The purpose is to increase and accelerate the gas production when the reservoir pressure drops.

Expected lifetime of the Sleipner West field will be extended by two years thanks to the new module, and production is now expected to continue until 2024.

"Such projects are crucial for StatoilHydro to maintain oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf in the years ahead," said Marianne M. Bjelland, who is head of StatoilHydro’s modifications and projects unit in Stavanger.

The module will boost gas production by 4.5 billion standard cubic meters and condensate production by 1.5 million standard cubic meters.

Aibel in Haugesund has been assigned the assembly and installation operations of the module on Sleipner B. The Saipem 7000 crane vessel is scheduled for lifting the compressor on board the platform in July. Some preparations and testing will then be performed before the compressor starts operating in October.

"This project seems to go according to plan, both on time and budget. We also stand to spend much less money than the NOK 1.8 billion on the budget," said Asbjorn Johnsen, StatoilHydro’s project manager for the Sleipner B compression project.

The compressor is a good example of the activities in the North Sea. It is far between the major discoveries and the development of new oil and gas provinces. Much of the work currently being performed is aimed for maintaining production on existing fields, developing satellite fields connected to existing infrastructure and making production more efficient and less polluting.