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Watch: Record-Breaking Lift at Johan Sverdrup Field

By The Maritime Executive 2019-03-23 18:54:29

The two final platform topsides for Equinor's Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea were installed using the heavy lift vessel Pioneering Spirit’s single lift technology. The processing platform lift – nearly 26,000 tons – set a new lifting record offshore and was carried out on Tuesday morning in four hours with a clearance of just 25 meters (82 feet) from the rest of the field center. 

The lift of the utility and living quarters topside, 18,000 tons, was completed early Friday morning in 3.5 hours. 

Pioneering Spirit, owned by Allseas Group, is the largest construction vessel ever built. The twin-hulled vessel is 382 meters (1,253 feet) long and 124 meters (407 feet) wide. It can straddle a platform and remove entire topsides – up to 48,000 tons – in a single lift, using eight sets of horizontal lifting beams.

The final flare stack and the bridge that links the processing platform to the drilling platform were lifted into place by the heavy lift vessel Thialf. The final bridge that will connect the utility and living quarters topside to the rest of the field center will be installed in the next weather window.

The installation and completion phase offshore at Johan Sverdrup started with installation of the jacket for the riser platform in August 2017. After that, an additional three steel jackets, four topsides, two bridges, two flare stacks, 200 kilometers (124 miles) of power cables, and more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) of pipelines have been put in place. More than 2,000 vessel days associated with installation and marine activities have been carried out so far.

The Johan Sverdrup field, located in the Norwegian North Sea, is the largest field development on the Norwegian shelf since the 1980. Production is expected to commence in November.

At plateau, the field will produce up to 660,000 barrels per day, with a break-even price of less than $20 per barrel and low CO2 emissions of 0.67 kg per barrel, making it one of the world’s most carbon-efficient fields. The plan for Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 includes measures to facilitate power from shore to the Utsira High by 2022. As a result, emission savings from the Johan Sverdrup field are estimated at 460,000 tons of CO2 per year, which is equivalent to annual emissions from 230,000 private cars.

Production start-up for the Phase 2 development is planned for the fourth quarter of 2022. The field life is expected to exceed 50 years.