Photo showing Valhall Flank West (Courtesy of Aker BP)

Aker BP wraps up well plugging at Valhall six years earlier than expected

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP has completed the well plugging operation at Valhall field six years earlier and more than NOK 5 billion ($603 million) cheaper than originally planned.

Valhall Flank West (Courtesy of Aker BP)
Photo showing Valhall Flank West (Courtesy of Aker BP)
Valhall Flank West (Courtesy of Aker BP)

The Maersk Invincible drilling rig left the Valhall field earlier in April, marking the end of several years of plugging operations at the field.

A total of 30 old wells from the original drilling platform (DP) have been plugged over the course of three campaigns since 2014.

Plugging of wells is a key part of the modernisation of the Valhall field centre, and thus also in the ambition to produce a total of two billion barrels from the giant in the North Sea, according to Aker BP.

Originally, Aker BP estimated the operational time of the plugging campaigns to ten years at a cost of NOK 15.5 billion ($1.9 billion).

However, the work was completed in four years and at a cost of NOK 10.1 billion ($1.2 billion), Aker BP informed.

Ole Johan Molvig, Valhall asset manager, said: “Plugging wells from the shutdown drilling platform is an important part of the Valhall modernisation. There are considerable remaining resources in the Valhall area, and our vision is to produce from the field up to 2050. We will maximise value creation from the area through new wells, flank developments and new technology”.

The first plugging campaign in 2014-2016 was conducted by the Maersk Reacher rig.

Maersk Invincible rig carried out the last two campaigns in 2017-2018 and in 2020-2021.

The original QP accommodation platform was removed in the summer of 2019, by the Allseas-owned giant vessel Pioneering Spirit.

Photo showing Pioneering Spirit removing Valhall QP in 2019 (Courtesy of Aker BP)
Pioneering Spirit removing Valhall QP in 2019 (Courtesy of Aker BP)

The last plugging campaign on Valhall was delivered by the jack-up rig alliance between Maersk Drilling, Halliburton and Aker BP from September to March.

Over the course of the next few years, the original drilling platform and process platform will also be removed from the field centre, Aker BP said.

The original Hod wellhead platform, south of the Valhall field, will also be removed and replaced with a new, the company added.

As reported earlier, Aker BP awarded this scope of work to Allseas which will again use its heavy-lifting vessel Pioneering Spirit for the job. 

Related Article

Preparing Valhall for the future

A little more than one year ago, the first oil flowed from Valhall Flank West. As of March 2021, a new Hod platform is nearing completion at Aker Solutions’ yard in Verdal.

The concept, implementation model and organisation for the Hod project were copied from Valhall Flank West, according to Aker BP.

Planned production start for Hod is in the first quarter of 2022, and recoverable reserves are estimated at around 40 million barrels of oil equivalent, according to the company.

Aker BP is also conducting studies for a new central platform on Valhall, which is expected to ensure production capacity for future volumes in the area.

Ine Dolve, SVP operations & asset development at Aker BP, said: “Through new projects like this and the ongoing modernisation of the area we continue to increase value creation from Valhall. This not only creates substantial values for Aker BP and our owners, but also for the greater society through the taxes we pay, and by maintaining a world-class supplier industry”.