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Statoil awards Technip LoI for construction of world’s largest spar offshore platform; start of deepwater development in Norwegian Sea

Statoil has awarded Technip a letter of intent (LoI) for construction of the hull for the world’s largest Spar platform—the first of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). A Spar platform is cylindrical, partially submerged offshore drilling and production platform that is well-suited for deepwater operation.

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Spar platform on the Aasta Hansteen field. Click to enlarge.

The contract covers the engineering, procurement, construction and transportation of a Spar hull, the mooring systems as well as the design of the steel catenary risers. Risers are pipes or assemblies of flexible or rigid pipes used to transfer produced fluids from the seabed to surface facilities, and transfer injection or control fluids from the surface facilities to the seabed.

Total hull length will be 195 meters (640 feet).

The platform will be deployed in the Aasta Hansteen field. The field, with a water depth of some 1,300 meters (4,265 feet), was discovered in 1997 and lies 300 km offshore in the Vøring area. The licence partners are Statoil (75%), ExxonMobil (15%) and ConocoPhillips (10%). Total recoverable reserves for Aasta Hansteen, previously called Luva, are preliminarily estimated at about 47 billion standard cubic meters (scm) of gas and 0.8 billion scm of condensate.

The hull project will be led by Technip in a consortium with Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The hull contract is an important first construction step for the Aasta Hansteen field development. Aasta Hansteen is the start of deepwater development in the Norwegian Sea and the development could also open up for tie-backs to other discoveries in the same area.

—Ivar Aasheim, Statoil’s senior vice president for field development on the NCS

The platform will also be able to store about 25,000 scm of condensate, and export gas via the Norwegian Sea Gas Infrastructure (NSGI).

The platform will be built in South Korea and transported on the world’s largest heavy-lift carrier. Technip will design, procure and deliver the Spar platform hull readied for mating with the platform topsides in Norway. The supplier will also design and prepare specifications for steel rigid risers and a complete mooring system.

The estimated contract value for this assignment is just over NOK 4 billion (US$656 million).

We’ve had several early-phase and concept studies for the entire Aasta Hansteen project, with Technip, Aker, Samsung, FMC, Saipem and IKM, among others, involved in developing the concept. The hull is the first execution contract to be set and we are satisfied that Technip has the necessary capacity to take on this assignment following strong competition with other players.

—Anders Opedal, senior vice president for projects in Statoil

Part of the work will begin in the middle of August, with completion of deliveries set for the middle of December 2015. This letter of intent will contribute to securing the overall progress plan for Aasta Hansteen.

The investment decision is expected in late 2012/early 2013, with production start-up at the end of 2016. The Aasta Hansteen field will be run from Harstad, Statoil’s new operational asset in the north.

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