The Alvheim oil and gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf was approved for development in 2004, with Marathon Oil as the main operator. The decision was taken to develop its three reservoirs using an FPSO connected to some 13 subsea production wells. These have since been joined by tiebacks from a number of satellite discoveries, creating a field with a combined reserve of about 250,000 million barrel of oil equivalents.
The success of this strategy depended on the performance of the FSPO. This was a 252 meter shuttle tanker called the Odin that was converted by engineer Vetco Aibel in its yard at Haugesund in southern Norway. When it became operational in 2008, it was the third largest FPSO in the North Sea.
ABB’s role on the conversion was to provide a full suite of telecommunications systems to handle images, voice and data.
This included a range of navigation duties, including radar, positioning and aeronautical management. ABB also provided radio and satellite communications, as well as security and entertainment services, a public address system, meteorological monitoring, connections with production equipment, a wide-area network and the cabling required to make it all work.