Photo: Alvheim FPSO; Source: Aker BP

Kongsberg Maritime upgrades safety and automation systems on Aker BP’s FPSO

Norwegian maritime technology group Kongsberg Maritime has updated 19 Safety and Automation Systems (SAS) controllers on a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel operating off Norway for Aker BP.

Kongsberg Maritime reported on Thursday that its project team has carried out an upgrade of the Safety and Automation Systems on Aker BP’s Alvheim FPSO.

Nicola Barbati, Project Manager, Oil & Gas at Kongsberg Maritime, remarked: “Around 30 determined people from across our global organization played a crucial role in delivering this high-quality project to a very satisfied customer.”

This vessel was a tanker named Odin, before it was converted into an FPSO in 2008, and renamed Alvheim in recognition of the oil field in which it operates, located in the central part of the North Sea. Since at the time of the conversion the vessel’s hull system was not upgraded and given that it was now reaching the end of its working life – with outmoded software and hardware along with increasing difficulty in sourcing spare parts – an upgrade was seen to be a sensible solution.

Therefore, Kongsberg Maritime’s team organised the full-scale replacement of 19 SAS controllers as an EPCI (Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation) project, after studying all existing Safety and Automation Systems controllers and comparing potential upgrade methods.

Aker BP’s Alvheim FPSO; Source: Aker BP
Aker BP’s Alvheim FPSO is the beneficiary of a large-scale update of its Safety and Automation Systems; Courtesy of Aker BP

Jørund Sæten, Project Engineer at Aker BP, commented: “In the Alvheim hull upgrade project, 19 SAS controllers were replaced while the asset was in full production.

The company’s scope of supply encompassed everything from engineering, procurement, fabrication and documentation to testing, offshore installation and commissioning of the hull SAS cabinets. According to Kongsberg, the project proceeded with a procurement order from Aker BP in February 2020 and culminated in October 2021 with the successful live field test on the last controller offshore.

In addition, the project deliveries were completed according to Aker BP’s HSE and quality requirements, on time and well within the budget frame set for the project at the height of the pandemic. Due to lockdown restrictions, the team was required to think digitally and operate remotely, which they did successfully based on Kongsberg’s statement.

Team leader Anders Asperheim, Oil & Gas Operations, Kongsberg Maritime, lists several key factors which contributed to the favourable outcome of this project: “Our success was mostly due to our extremely good cooperation with Aker BP and the installation contractor Origo. We had the right competencies and flexible resources, a one-team attitude, and a friendly, open and honest work environment in which everyone looked out for each other.”

It is worth reminding that Aker BP submitted a plan for development and operation for the Frosk field located in the North Sea to the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) in September this year. This project is expected to contribute to the production and reduce unit costs in the Alvheim area by utilizing existing infrastructure.

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The Frosk field is located approximately 25 km southwest of the Alvheim FPSO in the North Sea and it will be tied back to this FPSO via the existing Bøyla and Alvheim subsea infrastructure.

The development plan for the Frost field was filed only a few months after Aker BP submitted its development plan for the Kobra East and Gekko (KEG) project, which is also expected to help extend the life of the Alvheim field, increase its production, and reduce costs.