Shore-powered rig starts plugging work on Valhall

Maersk Invincible, one of the world’s largest jack-up rigs, has started its maiden work, plugging wells at the Aker BP-operated Valhall field in the North Sea, offshore Norway.

According to a statement by Aker BP issued on Wednesday, the plugging operations started on May 28.

Offshore Energy Today has previously reported on the rig getting the Norwegian authorities’ clearances to get the work done.

The rig, which arrived in Norway in April 2017, will stay with the Valhall-operator for five years. It will permanently plug a total of 18 wells from the Valhall DP platform.

Plugging wells is a key part of the work to modernize the Valhall field center. The three original platforms from when the field started producing in 1982 – QP, DP and PCP – will be removed. The remaining platforms in the field center – IP, WP and PH – will, Aker BP says, produce “for many, many years to come.”

While being one of the world’s largest jack-ups is a feat for itself, there is another interesting aspect of the Maersk Invincible.

Namely, it is being fully supplied with electricity from the Valhall field, which in turn takes electricity from the shore through a 294-km long subsea cable.

According to Aker BP, this is “probably the first time ever” a drilling rig is being powered fully from shore.

“We had available power supply capacity and Maersk Drilling made a commitment to facilitate electrification of the Maersk Invincible when it was built in South Korea,” says Valhall field director, Per Mikal Hauge in Aker BP.

The company’s calculations show that electrification of the drilling rig will reduce local emissions by 15,200 tonnes of CO2 and 168 tonnes of NOx every year.