The Valhall oil field, which is located in 70 m of water in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, began producing in 1982 and is expected to continue until 2050. Extraction operations are run from a complex of six separate, bridge-connected steel platforms together with two unmanned facilities about 6 km from the field’s center.
ABB has been responsible for the Valhall complex’s automation and telecoms systems right from the design stage. When BP Norge, the operator of the field, decided to refurbish and upgrade its production infrastructure to enable it to continue until 2050, it retained ABB as its partner. The contract includes a new combined living and processing platform and all upgrades to the existing facilities and the onshore control room.
The contract fits into ABB’s framework agreement with BP, and it confirms the good relationship that developed between the companies’ staff during their work together on the Ula and Valhall fields.
The award of this contract also marks a milestone in ABB’s strategy of winning integrated responsibility for automation and telecoms systems in projects that combine new build and refurbishment, and for early involvement with integrated operations.
The goal of the project is to design a field of the future that will deliver the best possible working environment on the Valhall complex for decades to come. This includes designing, building and installing a platform that contains living quarters, process facilities and integrated operations, and will be integrated with the existing Valhall facilities.
Another element is the upgrade of the automation and telecoms systems. This includes the design of an operation environment integrated with the onshore control room – the control room on the production platform will be shut down and reopened on the new unit. The telecoms package is made up of 19 systems ranging from integrated network architecture to personnel tracking. ABB participated in the design, build and installation of the environment onshore and offshore and is delivering all equipment to these facilities.