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ABB supporting Equinor with development of autonomous platforms

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Oilfield Technology,

Equinor has employed ABB to deliver automation solutions for the Krafla oil and gas field development, as part of the coordinated development of the licenses Krafla, Fulla and North of Alvheim (NOA) in the North Sea.

The Unmanned Processing Platform (UPP) at Krafla will be wholly remote-controlled from an onshore control centre, leveraging the distributed control system ABB Ability™ System 800xA equipped with Select I/O.

In addition to the UPP, the ABB system will monitor and control multiple units including two unmanned wellhead platforms, and a subsea production system.

ABB will create a digital twin to simulate, test and verify the advanced functions needed for unmanned operations on the control system, before being installed at site.

Brandon Spencer, President of ABB Energy Industries commented: “The platform has been designed with the intention of having no people on board, with no helipad, and the only possible access via ship. Instead, a new generation of remotely based operators will sit onshore, with the ability to start operations at the touch of a button. It is critical, therefore that collectively we get the design right the first time around. Everything needs to be tested and verified before being installed offshore.

Applying its Adaptive Execution™ methodology, ABB will streamline the entire project execution experience, combining efficient modular design with standardised, repeatable processes.

Johan de Villiers, Oil and Gas lead for ABB Energy Industries said: “Adaptive Execution enables greater visibility across all layers of a project. With digitalisation and virtualisation at its core we can unlock significant project value for Equinor in this project, not least by designing and testing everything in a virtual environment, eliminating design failures early on. As a result, we can reduce delivery schedules by up to 30%, minimise the number of engineering hours spent on project testing, installation, and commissioning by 85% and lower automation related setup costs lowered by up to 40%.”

With no localised power source on-site, the new platform also offers environmental benefits. Drawing power from the power grid onshore, which is primarily hydroelectric, will help to reduce local emissions.

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