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Mobilising for Johan Sverdrup

Johan SverdrupApproximately 2,400 men and women started to mobilise for the hook-up and completion of the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea last week. Around 150 people, plus crew from the floatel operator ProSafe, set sail aboard the floating accommodation vessel Safe Zephyrus from Mekjarvik outside Stavanger, bound for the North Sea.

The floatel arrived at the Johan Sverdrup field, marking the beginning of the offshore mobilisation of the giant field that will be in production for more than 50 years. “This is a big day for Statoil and the Johan Sverdrup partnership. We are sending the first group of people offshore to start the important task of hooking up the growing Johan Sverdrup field centre and preparing for production start-up late next year,” says Mr Trond Bokn, Senior Vice President for Johan Sverdrup. The work to finalise the riser platform, the first topside installed at the field, started as soon as Safe Zephyrus arrived at its destination. Hook-up preparations will soon begin for the drilling platform, the next topside to arrive in early June. With two platforms in place, the accommodation jack-up vessel Haven will join Safe Zephyrus at the field to increase bed capacity to nearly 900 beds during the hook-up and finalisation phases of the project. This will enable three shifts of up to 2,400 workers from Statoil and suppliers to be based at the Johan Sverdrup field.

“Safety is important for everything we do in Statoil and in the Johan Sverdrup project,” says Mr Bokn. “With several thousands of people offshore in this next phase, it really brings this message home. A high-quality in execution is one of the hallmarks of the Johan Sverdrup project so far. Maintaining focus on quality and safety in the phase that we are entering will be absolutely critical.” Safety is also top priority for Mr Torkjell Stangeland. Along with Mr Wiggo Lønøy and Ms Ann-Cathrine Holmen, he is one of three platform managers that will be responsible for Johan Sverdrup operations after the start-up. Mr Stangeland will also be the first platform manager out at the field with the Safe Zephyrus. “There is ample excitement, I must admit. We have spent several years thoroughly planning each operation, and we have extensively worked with emergency preparedness. It will be very exciting to be among the first out there working on Johan Sverdrup, but to be honest, I am most concerned with the safety of everyone offshore,” explains Mr Stangeland. “At the same time, I know that many of them also feel a lot of pride and joy on their way offshore. We have looked forward to this day for many years and now that we are here, I can hardly wait to set sail and get started.

Mr Jez Averty, Senior Vice President for Operations in the southern North Sea, is equally excited about the next phase of the Johan Sverdrup development. “After start-up, the next North Sea giant will be one of the Norwegian continental shelf’s best assets, with a peak production of 660,000 high value barrels per day and low emissions, so we clearly have a vested interest in this going well,” states Mr Averty. “A lot of work however remains, and there are no short-cuts to success offshore. To succeed means remaining alert and fully focused on completing the work ahead in a safe and compliant manner. And we have every intention to do just that.”