Norway's Equinor has confirmed it has decided on a cylindrical hull as the base case for its Wisting oil project in the Barents Sea, with several contractor stalwarts sharing in concept study awards.


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The Norwegian operator’s statement on Thursday confirms an exclusive report from Upstream on Wednesday that it had awarded concept studies for the 450 million barrel oil project, with the base case now a cylindrical hull of the Sevan SSP design.

Concept study awards for the floating production, storage and offloading unit have gone to Aker Solutions, KBR, Sevan SSP and Aible.

For the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines concept study, awards have gone to Aker Solutions, TechnipFMC, OneSubsea Processing, IKM Ocean Design and Kongsberg Maritime.

Upstream was told by project watchers that, following the concept studies, the winners for pre-front-end engineering and design and FEED will be selected in April or May.

Three weeks ago, Upstream reported that Equinor was weighing up the pros and cons of a pair of ship-shaped solutions proposed by Saltship and Aker Solutions, and also a cylindrical hull option from Sevan.

Saltship has been working alongside Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, while Aker Solutions has been partnering with Samsung Heavy Industries.

The cylindrical hull offering from Sembcorp Marine (Sembmarine)-owned Sevan SSP was put back on the table at Wisting after being previously assessed and ditched by former project operator OMV.

Although Equinor has awarded contracts for concept studies, a final concept selection is not expected until the second quarter of 2021, with a final investment decision seen at the end of 2022.

“Wisting is a considerable oilfield in the Barents Sea, and we are cooperating well with our partners in further maturing the project," ” said Equinor's acting senior vice president for project development, Trond Bokn.

"Founded on experience and synergy potential within the project-portfolio we have assessed different development alternatives to identify potential solutions for a cost-effective and optimal field development,” he added.

Equinor also said on Thursday that electrification is an option being considered to reduce emissions, with the partners set to study a power-from-shore solution.

Equinor operates Wisting on 35% and is joined by Austria’s OMV on 25% and Norway’s Petoro and Japan’s Idemitsu Petroleum each on 20%.