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