Skarv Satellite Project; Source: Aker BP

Aker BP, Aker Solutions and Subsea 7 kick off construction work for oil & gas project off Norway

Three players – Aker BP, Aker Solutions, and Subsea 7 – have started the fabrication work on the first of three seabed installations (subsea manifolds) for a huge oil and gas project in the Norwegian Sea. This milestone was marked in Aker Solutions’ workshop halls in Sandnessjøen.

Skarv Satellite Project; Source: Aker BP

After plans for development and operation (PDO) of multiple oil and gas projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) were submitted to Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in December 2022, these were approved on 28 June 2023. Aker BP awarded a number of contracts for these projects to alliance partners and other strategic suppliers with the total value amounting to tens of billions of kroner. Aker SolutionsAibelSubsea 7, and ABL Group are among the companies that received these contract awards.

The start-up of construction for one of these projects, which is known as the Skarv Satellite Project (SSP), was celebrated on Tuesday, 29 August 2023, alongside a number of Aker BP’s employees and partners in the Subsea Alliance (Aker Solutions and Subsea 7), and the Modification Alliance (Aker BP and Aker Solutions). The latter will carry out comprehensive modifications on the FPSO Skarv, so that, it can receive production from the satellite developments. 

According to Aker BP, the Skarv Satellite Project has high profitability and will secure an extended lifetime for the FPSO Skarv while representing a direct response to the stimulus package adopted by the Storting (Norwegian parliament) three years ago to ensure activity, preserve jobs, promote competence and skills and further develop the industry during a period characterised by the pandemic, record-low oil prices and a sharp decline in investments.

“The event at Aker Solutions in Sandnessjøen on Tuesday means full steam ahead on construction of the large subsea structures for the satellite fields around Skarv. The event was also a recognition of the good start for the Modification Alliance on the pre-fabrication work at Aker Solutions in Sandnessjøen and Mosjøen. Significant parts of the engineering and construction work are also being carried out in the Helgeland region in Nordland County,” outlined Aker BP.

The Skarv Satellite Project, which encompasses three separate seabed developments – Alve NordIdun Nord, and Ørn – is believed to be the largest development in the Norwegian Sea in recent years and will be connected to the FPSO Skarv off the coast of Helgeland. The total investment framework is estimated at approximately NOK 17 billion (nearly $1.57 billion), and recoverable resources are estimated at a total of about 120 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly gas.

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The operator explains that each of the three developments consists of a subsea template with four well slots and two wells which are tied back to the FPSO Skarv located in the northern part of the Norwegian Sea. The development of the three discoveries is coordinated by a unified project team in an effort to reduce costs through shared infrastructure, and to extract synergies across the deliveries.

The start-up of production is anticipated in the third quarter of 2027 with an estimated production period of six to ten years. The employment effects are estimated by the companies at 7,800 man-years in the development and operation phase. Aker BP’s partners are Wintershall Dea, Equinor, and PGNIG.

“Norwegian suppliers are expected to deliver around 60 per cent of the investments. The huge subsea manifolds are visible examples of what’s being built at Aker Solutions’ yard in Sandnessjøen. Another goal for the project is to use local subcontractors as much as possible, and increase regional impact in Helgeland,” added Akler BP.

The Norwegian player also points out that the Skarv Satellite development is paving the way for future developments in the area linked to new discoveries, which can contribute to long-term high production from the FPSO Skarv. The Skarv field is now producing around 22 million standard cubic metres of gas and around 25,000 barrels of condensate every single day.

“Now, Skarv is looking towards the future, to 2040. Development and production from the Skarv satellites are crucial for success. Production from these three developments will have low CO2 emissions at around 4.5 kg per barrel. After start-up, they will account for around 60 per cent of Aker BP’s net production from the Skarv area for several years,” concluded Aker BP.

Wheels are in motion to develop recently greenlighted projects on the NCS. To this end, MAN Energy Solutions was picked by Aker Solutions and Aibel to provide seven compressor units for three new offshore oil and gas production platforms in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, operated by Aker BP, which cut the first steel for an approximately 1,000-ton module to be built at Nymo a few days ago.