Photo: Åsgard B platform; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

Aker Solutions hired to modify Åsgard B for production boost

Oilfield services provider Aker Solutions has won a substantial contract from Equinor for modifications on the Åsgard B gas and condensate platform, located offshore Norway, to enable increased production.

Aker Solutions defines a substantial contract as being between NOK 700 million ($82.3 million) and NOK 1.2 billion ($141.1 million).

The contract award to Aker Solutions comes as the partners in the Åsgard licence, with Equinor as the operator, have decided to invest just under NOK 1.4 billion ($164.6 million) to further develop the field and implement the Åsgard B low-pressure project.

Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for projects, said in a statement on Thursday: “The project will increase production from the current Smørbukk wells and contribute to achieve planned production from the field. We’re also awarding a contract to Aker Solutions which will provide valuable activity and help maintain jobs in a difficult time”.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Aker Solutions said that the scope includes engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) of new equipment.

The work starts immediately and is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

The floating production platform offshore Norway is connected to subsea installations at several nearby gas and condensate fields. The modifications will enable increased production from the Smørbukk reservoir.

According to Aker Solutions, the award follows completion of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work.

The scope will include installation of systems to accommodate production with both high and low pressure, replacement of reinjection compressors as well as other modifications.

Randi Hugdahl, Equinor vice president for Åsgard operations, said: “We can still produce 400-500 million barrels of oil equivalent from the field. This means value creation in the order of NOK 150 – 200 billion. The current recovery rate for the field is almost 50 percent, but our ambition is to extract 60 percent of the hydrocarbons in the reservoirs before the field will have to be shut down”.

As explained by Equinor, the selected concept is a modification of the platform to reduce inlet pressure by replacing the reinjection compressors and rebuilding parts of the processing facility.

“We are excited to perform this modification project for Equinor, focusing on responsible management of resources by utilizing existing installations to enable increased production”, said Linda Litlekalsøy Aase, executive vice president, electrification, maintenance and modifications at Aker Solutions.

“In projects like this, it is important to perform the offshore installation work safely and with a minimum of interruption of the ongoing production on other parts of the platform. Hence, we have developed special expertise and models to execute such contracts”.

The work is expected to require around 415 man-years for Aker Solutions. Including ripple effects to personnel working with suppliers and in other sectors, it is estimated that the project will involve more than 1,600 jobs.

The prefabrication for new systems to be installed at Åsgard B will involve 45 man-years at Aker Solutions’ yard in Egersund.

For Aker Solutions’ office in Trondheim, the engineering, procurement and project management will engage around 240 man-years, primarily for local employees.

Aker Solutions’ work offshore to install the new systems will involve around 130 man-years.

Åsgard B is a semi-submersible gas and condensate processing platform, which is part of the Åsgard field, one of the largest developments on the Norwegian continental shelf.

It is located in the Haltenbanken area in the Norwegian Sea, around 200 kilometres off mid-Norway.

The Åsgard field consists of the Midgard, Smørbukk, and Smørbukk South deposits. In addition, the Mikkel, Trestakk, and Morvin fields are tied back to the Åsgard infrastructure.

Equinor also added that the planned start-up of low-pressure production is in 2023.

Partners in the Åsgard licence are Equinor (operator) 34.57%, Petoro 35.69%, Vår Energi 22.06%, and Total E&P Norge 7.68%.