Equinor agreement with major ripple effects in North Norway

Aibel has been awarded the M&M agreement (Maintenance and Modifications) for Johan Castberg by Equinor. The work will be carried out from Aibel’s office in Harstad and will lead to a number of ripple effects in northern Norway.

Castberg signering Mads Andersen og Mette H Ottøy foto Kjetil Eide Equinor
The agreement for Johan Castberg was signed in Stavanger by President and CEO of Aibel, Mads Andersen, and Equinor's chief procurement officer, Mette H. Ottøy. Photo: Kjetil Eide / Equinor

The agreement for the Johan Castberg field is an addition to Aibel and Equinor’s existing framework agreement for several fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, including Norne and Aasta Hansteen. The agreement is valid from 1 June 2023 and throughout the framework contract until February 2026. Aibel estimates that the agreement has an annual value of around NOK 100 million.

Project management, engineering and relevant support functions will be located at Aibel’s Harstad office, which will also meet the staffing need for Norne and Aasta Hansteen. Therefore, the agreement is expected to increase staffing and significantly strengthen the organisation locally.

“The agreement is a recognition and continuation of the good work we have done for several years in close cooperation with Equinor in northern Norway. At the same time, the agreement forms a solid basis for our overall commitment in the North and our growth ambitions for our organizations in both Harstad and Hammerfest. In just a few years, we want to more than double the number of employees here to around 250 people,” says VP M&M FA in Aibel, John Inge Førland.

The agreement also includes other measures to create ripple effects throughout North Norway. For example, Aibel will actively recruit its offshore staff for Norne, Aasta Hansteen and Johan Castberg with personnel living in North Norway (Nordland, Troms and Finnmark). In addition, Aibel will find areas of supply from North Norway to other parts of the country, increase the use of North Norwegian subcontractors, and actively work on competence development throughout the region in cooperation with relevant educational institutions, including the Fagskolen i Nord and UiT (University of Tromsø).

The award of the Johan Castberg agreement comes after Aibel and Equinor entered into a 10-year strategic cooperation agreement in May 2022 with a common ambition to make activities in North Norway more robust in a long-term perspective.

The Johan Castberg field is located about 100 kilometres north of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. The planned start-up is Q4 2024 after which the field will produce for 30 years. The field is being developed with a production ship and extensive subsea development. The operation of Johan Castberg will be carried out with a supply and helicopter base in Hammerfest and the operating organisation in Harstad.