Aker Solutions’ new semi could help unlock more marginal fields

Norwegian engineering and offshore services provider Aker Solutions has introduced a semi-submersible platform design that it says will help producers unlock more marginal oil and gas fields in harsh environments across the globe.

According to the company, the new semi will be lighter and faster to deliver, and could be used to bring online fields holding as much as 300 million barrels of oil equivalents at water depths of 100 meters to 400 meters.

Providing the specs, Aker Solutions said the topside weighs about 6,000 metric tons, “which is 30 percent lighter than similar solutions.” Platform delivery time has also been reduced, Aker said, without providing the actual estimate.

“We envisage these platforms will be ideal in developing marginal resources that are located next to bigger fields with excess processing capacity,” said Valborg Lundegaard, head of Aker Solutions’ engineering business.

Aker says that the platform brings together elements from two proven designs for the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and is the result of a “painstaking review of every single platform item to enable a 60,000 barrel a day production capacity at a lower investment cost.”

According to the design, the platform would have an unmanned hull combined with a single flat top deck to ensure the structural integrity. The topside is designed to use standardized equipment, meaning equipment skids and small modules can easily be placed directly on the deck, the firm added.

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