Gudrun output halted


The official inauguration of Statoil’s Gudrun platform off Norway on Tuesday has coincided with the facility being put out of action due to planned maintenance after the earlier shutdown of nearby Sleipner A that handles its oil and gas output.

A Statoil spokesman confirmed to Upstream that Gudrun has been shut in as a result of the stoppage at the Sleipner A platform 50 kilometres farther south, where condensate evaporation triggered the gas alarm at the weekend.

He clarified that Sleipner A, which processes oil and gas output from Gudrun before onward export of gas via pipeline to Europe and oil to the Kaarsto onshore plant, had already been shut in for planned maintenance prior to the incident, which was normalised after few hours.

“Because of the shutdown at Sleipner, we decided to take the opportunity to carry out planned maintenance on other platforms, including Gudrun where production has also been halted as a result,” he said.

The spokesman was unable to specify the probable duration for the shutdown.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg cut through a plastic chain at an offshore ceremony to officially open the platform, which has been producing about 30,000 barrels per day since being brought online in April, according to Statoil.

The state-owned operator trumpeted the fact that it has utilised existing infrastructure – such as Sleipner A and pipelines – to keep project costs down on Gudrun and help to extend the life of other field facilities.

Solberg praised the operator for developing the field at a cost of about Nkr2bn less than its targeted budget of around Nkr22 billion, saying: “To deliver on time and budget is important to realise the potential of the Norwegian continental shelf.”

Statoil has also adopted a global procurement strategy to stimulate greater price competition among contractors to keep costs down, with the topsides supplied by Norwegian player Aibel using Thailand and Poland yards, while the jacket was built by compatriot Kvaerner’s Verdal yard, the living quarters at Apply Leirvik and the helideck in China.

Chief executive Helge Lund said: “Gudrun has proven that we are able to take our industry into a new era with global competition and local value creation.”

The company stated that the development has also “demonstrated the strong competitiveness of the Norwegian supplier industry”.

Gudrun – Statoil’s first new operated platform off Norway since 2005 - is the first in a string of Norwegian projects set to be brought to fruition over the next few years, with the Valemon field scheduled for start-up later this year.

Statoil is also developing the Gina Krog and the giant Johan Sverdrup fields in the Utsira High area of the North Sea, and Aasta Hansteen in the Norwegian Sea, with Johan Castberg in the Barents Sea also on its radar screen.

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