Fenris jacket and PDM installation complete; Source: Aker BP

WATCH: World’s largest crane vessel installs jacket for North Sea oil project

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP has ticked off another box for its oil field life extension project by putting a new jacket in the North Sea with a semi-submersible crane vessel (SSCV) owned and operated by Heerema Marine Contractors. This milestone is part of a development project that aims to extend the life of a field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) for another 40 years.

Fenris jacket and PDM installation complete; Source: Aker BP

After the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy greenlighted multiple developments, including the Valhall PWP-Fenris development, in June 2023, the project entered into the construction phase in September 2023 with the cutting of the first steel plate for Valhall PWP at Aker Solutions’ Stord yard. 

Located in the southern part of the North Sea, the Valhall PWP-Fenris development includes a new centrally located production and wellhead platform linked to the Valhall field center by a bridge and an unstaffed installation at the Fenris field that will be tied back to Valhall through pipelines on the seabed.

The Fenris jacket and pre-drill module (PDM) started making their way to the Valhall field from Aker Solutions’ yard in Verdal on June 8 with three different tugboats maneuvering the giant barge out of the harbor. The journey was expected to take five days.

Once the jacket arrived at the Fenris offshore field in the Valhall area, it was installed on the seabed by Heerema Marine ContractorsSleipnir giant heavy lift vessel according to plan. With the jacket being fastened by 68-meter-long piles, the next task on the list was the installation of the PDM.

The 90-meter tall Fenris jacket was fastened with 68-meter piles and once the grout had hardened, the 800 mT PDM was lifted and welded. The first steel was cut for the utility module of the new platform at the Valhall field center in January 2024 at Worley Rosenberg’s facility in Stavanger, Norway.

While the Valhall oil field has been in production since 1982, the Valhall PWP-Fenris development project is anticipated to provide a lifeline by keeping the field in business for 40 more years. This is perceived to be one of the largest development projects on the NCS, with the total new reserves estimated at 230 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Once complete, the five-story topside module will be 55 meters tall, 32 meters wide, 54 meters long, and weigh approximately 4,800 tonnes. The Valhall PWP will be transported from Worley Rosenberg to Aker Solutions’ Stord yard for further hook-up to the production modules before sailing away in summer 2026.

According to Aker BP, the development has electrified its main power source, instead of using gas turbines, intending to leverage Valhall’s existing power-from-shore system with minimal emissions, estimated at less than 1 kg CO2/boe. The production is slated to start in 2027.

The 16,000-tonne Valhall PWP production platform for the Valhall field will be assembled at Stord, and the 9,500-tonne steel jacket will be delivered from Verdal, just like the Fenris unmanned platform. Aker Solutions’ scope covers considerable subsea and modification deliveries to the Valhall PWP-Fenris project. 

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Pandion Energy is Aker BP’s partner in Valhall and PGNiG Upstream Norway is the firm’s partner in Fenris located 50 kilometers away. The Valhall PWP-Fenris development will use the existing power from shore system.