The future is electric

Environment and sustainability are important topics in today’s oil and gas industry. In recent years, operators and suppliers have worked hard to find new and better solutions, and Aibel is already about to take on a prominent role within electrification.

Power from shore II
Despite the current Covid-19 situation, things are moving forward at Haugsneset. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.

Offshore wind has attracted a lot of attention in the green shift, but more sustainable solutions for oil and gas extraction will also make a great difference in terms of the environment. Several operators have set their sights on the electrification of offshore installations to reduce CO₂ emissions, strongly indicating that the industry is moving in a new direction.

“Aibel has for a long time worked towards assembling all the pieces we believe are necessary to meet the expectations of the future market. We are well-prepared,” says EVP Modifications and Yard Services with Aibel, Nils Arne Sølvik.

The company has good results from the first phase of the Johan Sverdrup field electrification and is in possession of a strong expertise from several projects within the offshore wind market, which are also large electrification jobs. And with an order backlog of almost 40 percent in the renewables segment, Aibel is busy demonstrating that restructuring within the supplier industry is possible.

2019 10 28 sleipner final 16 9
Power from shore to the Johan Sverdrup field and the rest of the installations on the Utsira formation. Illustration: Equinor.

Johan Sverdrup Power from Shore

Since 2018, the Johan Sverdrup field has been supplied with electric power from the first onshore power plant at Haugsneset outside of Kårstø. By the end of 2022, in addition to electrification of its own field, the Johan Sverdrup development will include solutions for the remainder of the so-called Utsira formation with the Edvard Grieg, Ivar Aasen and Gina Krog fields, and a plan for partial electrification of the Sleipner field centre.

Construction of a second facility at Haugsneset has been in progress since the autumn of 2019, and with doubled capacity, the future power supply to the fields on the Utsira formation will be secured. When all of the installations are powered by electricity, the average reduction of CO₂ emissions for the area will exceed 700,000 tons of CO₂ per year.

Prosjektleder Ole Kristian Halvorsen
Aibel's project manager Ole-Kristian Halvorsen on the construction site at Haugsneset earlier this year. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.

Aibel is, as with phase one, the main contractor for construction of the onshore power plant in phase two, and will in partnership with selected subcontractors ensure delivery of the project, which will require around 200,000 hours of work before everything is ready in the summer of 2021.

In May, the project was planned to enter its most hectic stage so far, with around 120 people in daily activity at the site until completion of the actual building with all associated auxiliary systems, towards the end of 2020. Due to Covid-19, some of this activity has been slightly delayed but Aibel’s project manager Ole-Kristian Halvorsen is positive that the crew at Haugsneset will meet the coming tasks head on and get the project up to speed again:

“As of now, we are around 50 people on site, but capacity is slowly increasing and milestones are still being reached. The latest one having all work on the roof finished and celebrated with a topping-out ceremony last week. Because we have several subcontractors, the current situation places higher demands on our own organisation in terms of coordination and continuous follow-up. However, with plenty of experience from phase one and a streamlined and stable organisation in phase two, I am very positive towards the upcoming ‘dash to the finish line’ here at Haugsneset”.

Check out this timelapse of the construction at Haugsneset:

As you can see, a lot has happened from August 2019 until April 2020. Video: Aibel.