PHOTO: Martin Linge accommodation module ready for North Sea

An offshore accommodation module for the Martin Linge field development located offshore Norway is being prepared for transport to the North Sea. 

The Port of Gothenburg said in a statement on Tuesday that the huge accommodation module had been loaded at the outer port area. It was the largest object ever to be shipped via Gothenburg Roro Terminal in Arendal.

The eight-storey construction is currently standing on a barge awaiting transport to the North Sea. The module is bound for the Martin Linge oil and gas field in the North Sea, 116 kilometers off the coast of Norway.

The construction process began five years ago, and now this eight-storey accommodation module, built by Apply Emtunga for the Martin Linge oilfield in the North Sea, is loaded and ready for delivery, the port said.

At 48 meters in height, 33 meters in length, and weighing some 3,000 tonnes, the accommodation module will accommodate just over 100 people. It has eight floors, and apart from offices and meeting rooms, it also has a large number of well-appointed cabins, each with a bathroom, TV and internet access. There is also a small hospital facility, a kitchen, a dining room, two TV rooms, a music room and a gym. There is a helicopter pad on the roof.

Using specially constructed trailers fitted with 1,000 wheels, the accommodation module was rolled down at a maximum speed of five kilometers per hour to a specially reinforced quay.

Loading such enormous constructions naturally generates extreme ground pressure. Gothenburg Port Authority is responsible for ensuring the quays can cope, and finding solutions for relieving pressure on the quays during loading.

Annelie Albertsson, project leader at the Gothenburg Port Authority Infrastructure Department, explained: “In effect, what we did was to construct a beam to support the ramp that is placed between the quayside and the barge. The aim is to ease pressure on the quay, which would otherwise be unable to withstand the weight.”

Following the loading, the module is now on board a specially constructed barge. All that remains is for it to be welded in place and secured before being towed on its 680- kilometer voyage, which it is estimated will take 36 hours.


The development


Martin Linge is currently operated by the French oil giant Total but the operatorship is expected to be transferred to Statoil, following the Norwegian company’s acquisition of Total’s 51% stake in November 2017. Following completion of the transaction, Statoil will increase its interest in the field from 19%.

Martin Linge is an oil and gas field under development west of the Oseberg field in the North Sea, with estimated recoverable resources in excess of 300 million barrels oil equivalent. The field development concept includes an integrated wellhead, production and accommodation platform with a jacket, in addition to an oil storage vessel.

When the field comes on stream, the gas will flow through a new pipeline connecting the field to the existing pipeline to St. Fergus in Scotland. The oil will be processed on the storage vessel and transported from the field in shuttle tankers. The current operator expects start of production in the first half of 2019.

The jacket substructure is already installed on location in the North Sea, while the topside is being completed at the Samsung yard in South Korea. It is scheduled to be transported to Norway in early 2018. The project has experienced schedule delays and cost increases due to delayed topside engineering, construction and currency impact. The project was also hit by a fatal accident at the Korean yard in May 2017, when six people died, forcing Total to delay production start for the first half of 2019.

Offshore Energy Today Staff