Norwegian energy giant Equinor celebrated the start-up of its first unmanned platform yesterday in the Oseberg Verflanken 2 field in the North Sea.
The Oseberg H platform, which is entirely remotely operated from the Oseberg field centre, has no facilities, no living quarters and no toilet.
Recoverable resources from the Oseberg verflanken 2 field are estimated to be around 110 million barrels.
Equinor, formerly Statoil, say the project was delivered “far below budget” at £606 million, 20% below the cost estimate.
Anders Opedal, Equinor’s executive vice president for technology, projects and drilling, said: “With Oseberg H we take a huge technological leap forward. The fully automatic, unmanned and remote-operated platform is digitalisation in practice, and I am proud of Equinor and its partners having chosen this in-house developed solution.
Maintenance campaigns will be carried out once or twice a year on the platform.
While the Askepott rig is drilling wells through the platform, the maintenance personnel will stay on the rig.
Afterwards the personnel will stay on a vessel hooked up to Oseberg H by a gangway.
Mr Opedal added: “Oseberg H is the first platform of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), with no facilities, not even a toilet. The topside weighs only a good 1 000 tonnes, another example of simplification in practice. This platform only has the bare essentials.”
Partners in the Oseberg Vestflanken 2 production licence are: Equinor Energy AS (49.3%), Petoro AS (33.6%), Total E&P Norge AS (14.7%) and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (2.4%).
Production is expected to continue until 2040.