Sta­toil has con­tin­ued its re­la­tion­ship with Ai­bel Thai­land for plat­forms de­signed for the Jo­han Sver­drup field

Sta­toil has con­tin­ued its re­la­tion­ship with Ai­bel Thai­land, this time for plat­forms de­signed for the Jo­han Sver­drup field, be­cause of the lat­ter’s train­ing, HSE pro­gramme and at­ten­tion to de­tail

Norway-Asia Business Review - - Contents - HAR­VEY BROCK

Ai­bel Thai­land, which is build­ing mod­ules for Sta­toil’s oil plat­forms xat its new Jo­han Sver­drup project in the North Sea, is on tar­get for de­liv­ery to Nor­way by July 2017. Leif Heiberg, the site con­struc­tion man­ager for Sta­toil’s Thai projects, said the com­pany’s ex­pe­ri­ence with Ai­bel was one rea­son it re­ceived the con­tract for the Jo­han Sver­drup plat­forms.

“Sta­toil has com­pleted pre­vi­ous jobs with Ai­bel Thai­land, the first stretch­ing back 14 years ago,” he said. “Two oth­ers fol­lowed in 2009 and 2012. I have been im­pressed with how Ai­bel’s op­er­a­tions im­prove ev­ery year.”

“A large op­er­a­tion like Ai­bel has a very good record on health, se­cu­rity and en­vi­ron­ment [HSE]. Their record in this field was part of the se­lec­tion cri­te­ria.”

Ai­bel re­cently built a state-of-theart HSE train­ing cen­tre, and Mr Heiberg said the cul­ture and train­ing sys­tems at the com­pany were to be ad­mired.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate how at Ai­bel they are con­stantly fo­cused on im­prove­ment. The struc­ture of their work is very de­tai­lo­ri­ented. And this fo­cus on de­tails is deeply in­grained in their work cul­ture,” he said.

Ai­bel is the sin­gle big­gest ex­porter of goods from Thai­land to Nor­way. The com­pany is pro­duc­ing the mod­u­lar sup­port frame for one of Sta­toil’s off­shore plat­forms at their yard in Laem Cha­bang, Chon Buri prov­ince. This in­cludes the deck for a drilling plat­form, the base and sup­port, said Mr Heiberg.

The frame is about the size of a foot­ball pitch, 100 me­tres long by 66 me­tres wide, he said. It is 16 me­tres high and weighs 10,500 tonnes, in­clud­ing the drilling equip­ment.

The Jo­han Sver­drup project rep­re­sents one of the largest oil fields ever dis­cov­ered on the Nor­we­gian con­ti­nen­tal shelf, said Mr Heiberg. The field lies 140 kilo­me­tres north­west of Sta­vanger, the headquarters of Sta­toil. Sta­toil, which has al­most 50 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the oil and gas field, is the op­er­a­tor of the Jo­han Sver­drup.

The Jo­han Sver­drup is pro­jected to hold be­tween 1.9 and 3.0 bil­lion bar­rels of oil, and Sta­toil be­lieves the field is in 110 to 120 me­tres wa­ter depth, with the reser­voir at 1,900 me­tres depth.

“The Jo­han Sver­drup will com­prise 25% of to­tal oil pro­duc­tion in Nor­way once in full pro­duc­tion,” he said. The ini­tial stage of de­vel­op­ment will see a four-plat­form hub in the field.

The re­cent nosedive in oil prices has not changed Sta­toil’s pri­or­i­ties or sched­ule for the Jo­han Sver­drup project, said Mr Heiberg.

“On the con­trary, Sta­toil al­ready had a project in place to re­duce costs be­fore oil prices started their de­cline,” he said. “We have sev­eral ini­tia­tives re­lated to re­duc­ing costs,. We are al­ways ask­ing whether the costs jus­tify the ben­e­fits when we look at new projects.”

Mr Heiberg moved to Thai­land in De­cem­ber 2015. He found sev­eral of the

dif­fer­ences be­tween his new lo­ca­tion and his home­land en­light­en­ing and chal­leng­ing.

“The lan­guage is an ob­vi­ous ob­sta­cle, but we find ways to over­come that with our communication,” he said. “We try to align with some of the Ai­bel folks that speak English and Sta­toil trains their own Thai em­ploy­ees so they un­der­stand our cor­po­rate cul­ture.”

“For in­stance, in Nor­way we have a very dif­fer­ent or­gan­i­sa­tional hi­er­ar­chy than here. It’s a very flat or­gan­i­sa­tional struc­ture in Nor­way and em­ploy­ees are en­cour­aged to speak up if they have some­thing to say. In fact it’s ex­pected in Nor­way. Thai­land doesn’t have that, so that’s another chal­lenge we work with in our train­ing.

“Most sur­pris­ing to me is how prac­ti­cal the Thais are.

“My time here has been an ad­ven­ture and I en­joy how friendly the peo­ple are.

“One of the big­gest lessons we have to teach vis­i­tors from Nor­way that come here is how to be­have and deal with traf­fic in Thai­land. It’s very hec­tic here, with lots of mo­tor­cy­cles. You have to be­have dif­fer­ently around traf­fic than you do in Nor­way and pay more at­ten­tion to your sur­round­ings.


PHOTO: STA­TOIL Above, 3D il­lus­tra­tion of the Sta­toil in­stal­la­tion at the Jo­han Sver­drup field. Left: Drilling has started at the Jo­han Sver­drup field.

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