Valhall PWP-Fenris; Source: Aker BP

Aker BP’s multi-billion oil project moves forward with steel cutting for 1,000-ton module

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP is making progress with the development of its recently greenlighted project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) with the cutting of the first steel for an approximately 1,000-ton module to be built at Nymo.

Valhall PWP-Fenris; Source: Aker BP

After the Storting gave its stamp of approval for multiple projects, including the Valhall PWP-Fenris development on 5 June 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy approved the developments on 28 June 2023. Aker BP has already 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 which received these contract awards. In addition, Heerema Fabrication Group Vlissingen was recently hired by Aker BP for the procurement and construction of the Munin jacket in the Yggdrasil area.

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Aker BP disclosed on Tuesday, 15 August, that its CEO, Karl Johnny Hersvik – together with its Project Director of Valhall PWP-Fenris, Rannveig Storebø – would cut the first steel for the around 1,000-ton module to be built at Nymo. This will treat MEG – monoethylene glycol – that is recycled in pipelines between the new PWP platform that will be deployed on the Valhall field and the Fenris field 50 kilometres away to avoid the formation of hydrates in the pipes.

While NOV is the primary supplier, it signed a letter of intent with Nymo to build the MEG module in Grimstad. In addition, Nymo won a contract with Aker Solutions for the construction of the bridge that will connect the new Valhall PWP platform with the existing Valhall field centre. This bridge will be more than 100 meters long with a weight of around 1,200 tonnes and will be built at Nymo’s facility at Eydehavn in Arendal.

According to Aker BP, Nymo is slated to build advanced equipment for a new platform on its Valhall field in the North Sea while the scope of work will ensure high activity, triple the number of apprentices and ensure full employment for several years to come for the offshore company based in the very south of Norway. The operator further explains that the steel cutting at the workshop in Grimstad kicks off the start of a busy period and full employment for the company’s 200 employees.

Øyvind Riiber Boye, Nymo general manager, commented: “In addition to guaranteeing work for current employees, the contract also provides recruitment opportunities. In connection with this, we’re now increasing the number of apprentices we employ from 7 to 20. Nymo will also be engaging a significant number of operators through local subcontractors.

“A high activity level at Nymo will also have a very important indirect impact on businesses in the region. It’s expensive to develop for new markets, and it takes a long time before these efforts result in profitable projects. This is why the Valhall PWP project is crucial in a transition phase, enabling Nymo to maintain its capacity and expertise while it matures these new solutions.”

The Valhall PWP-Fenris project covers further development of the Valhall area, where a new unmanned platform on the Fenris field will be connected to a new integrated process platform at Valhall. The total investment framework is around NOK 50 billion ($4.76 billion), of which around 65 per cent is expected to be delivered by Norwegian suppliers. 

“Development projects like Valhall PWP-Fenris are a direct response to the activity package the Storting adopted three years ago. Its aim was to guarantee activity, protect jobs, develop expertise, and refine the industry during a period characterised by a pandemic, record-low oil prices, and a sharp decline in investments. Aker BP and its licence partners are now delivering on the politicians’ expectations,” outlined Hersvik.

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The Valhall PWP-Fenris’ production start-up is slated for the third quarter of 2027. Aker BP’s partners in this project are Pandion and PGNIG. The development is expected to utilise existing power from an onshore system with minimal emissions, calculated at less than 1 kg CO2 per barrel. The project also ensures a lifetime extension of Valhall beyond 2028.

“We’re proud that this project is securing jobs, an increased number of apprentices and good value creation in the region. We’re looking forward to cooperating with Nymo and NOV for these deliveries,” underlined Storebø.