Åsgard B platform; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

‘Major’ modification work at Norwegian offshore platform is a go

Norwegian offshore safety regulator has given Equinor consent to carry out modifications at a platform operating on a field in the Norwegian Sea.

Åsgard B platform; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently gave Equinor consent for a“major” modification in connection with the development of Halten East and Smørbukk North at Åsgard B, which is a semi-submersible floating platform on the Åsgard field with processing facilities for gas treatment and stabilisation of oil and condensates. It came on stream on 1 October 2000.

While the platform was developed by Kværner, the hull was built by Daewoo Heavy Industries in Korea. The topside modules came from Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Egersund, and were mated with the hull in Stavanger. This platform was the largest semi-submersible platform ever built for production in 2000, with a topside weighing 33,700 tonnes.

Located in the central part of the Norwegian Sea, in a water depth of 240-300 metres, the Åsgard field was discovered in 1981 and the development concept includes the Åsgard A production vessel, the Åsgard B semi-submersible platform and the Åsgard C storage vessel. The field has been producing oil since May 1999 and gas since October 2000.

The Åsgard facilities currently receive oil and gas from seven different fields: Midgard, Smørbukk, Smørbukk South, Mikkel, Morvin, Smørbukk Northeast and Trestakk. Morvin – four wells and two subsea templates – and Mikkel – three wells and two subsea templates – are also tied into the infrastructure at Åsgard B.

The gas from the Åsgard field is routed by pipeline to Kårstø in Northern Rogaland County, where heavier components such as ethane, propane, butane and naphtha are separated out. From there, the dry gas is transported onward via the Europipe II pipeline to customers on the continent.

Following an investigation of a fire incident in a high-voltage transformer on the Åsgard B platform, which occurred in November 2022, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway recently came to the conclusion that the direct cause of the fire was a short circuit/arc flash resulting from impairments to and/or degradation in the winding insulation over time.