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Johan Sverdrup: the making of a giant

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Oilfield Technology,

The company is on track to deliver the first draft report due in the fourth quarter, a project that has involved 400 employees in Oslo and London. The work covers all four of the planned platforms for the first development phase, including the so-called topsides, jackets as well as bridges spanning the facilities.

"Johan Sverdrup represents the future of the Norwegian oil industry and we are working closely with Statoil, the operator, to ensure the best possible solution," said Valborg Lundegaard, Aker Solutions' head of engineering. "We have put together our biggest-ever front-end engineering design team for this project and the work is now two-thirds completed."

The current work has been proceeding since Aker Solutions in December received a framework contract from Statoil to provide engineering services, procurement and management assistance (EPma) for as many as 10 years at Johan Sverdrup. The accord includes front-end engineering design (FEED) work building on concept studies that Aker Solutions carried out last year for the deposit. Statoil is the working operat or for the development, which spans three licenses. The other partners are Lundin Norway, Petoro, Maersk Oil and Det norske oljeselskap.

Johan Sverdrup is the largest offshore oil find in Norway in 30 years and is estimated to hold 1.8 billion to 2.9 billion bbls of oil equivalents. It's seen producing 550 000 – 650 000 bbls of oil equivalents a day when fully developed, equal to about 25% of current domestic output. Production is slated to start in late 2019 and is predicted to last for about half a century.

Maturing the concept

Johan Sverdrup will be developed in multiple phases. This first will consist of a field center with processing, drilling, riser and accommodation platforms. These will be designed with an expansion in mind. They will be linked by bridges and rest on steel jacket substructures that rise about 100 m from the seafloor.

The timing of the FEED phase is crucial. It develops the concept to the detail needed that will allow contractors, yards and vendors to bid for contracts to supply equipment and fabrication services. Many contracts need to be in place next year for the field to start production as planned in 2019.

"We worked with Statoil throughout 2013 to identify the optimal development solution for Johan Sverdrup," said Lundegaard. "We're very excited to now put the finishing touches on the matured designs that will ensure the project is on track."

The final FEED report is slated for delivery before the end of the year and will be used by the field partners to make a final investment decision for the first phase development. A plan for development is then expected to be submitted in February next year to Norwegian authorities for approval. The next stage, after approval, will be detailed design and procurement services. Aker Solutions' contract with Statoil has an EPma option for the development's first phase and additional options for work in later phases.

Delivery model

Aker Solutions has seamless project execution models, systems and tools that share work across locations to meet client expectations for quality, local presence, speed and competitiveness. For Johan Sverdrup, the delivery model for phase one has tapped expertise in Oslo, London and Mumbai.

"Aker Solutions' delivery model draws on complementary capability, capacity and experience from all areas of our global organisation," Lundegaard said.

Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

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