Aker BP, Aibel celebrate steel cut for “first-of-its-kind” production platform offshore Norway

November 08, 2023

(WO) – On Thursday 2 November, Aker BP and Aibel celebrated the first steel cut for the Munin platform in Thailand. Thai monks blessed the steel in a formal ceremony before construction of the unmanned production platform got underway. 

With Yggdrasil, Aker BP is setting a new standard in offshore operations with remote-controlled operation, unmanned platforms, new technology and data-driven decisions and work processes. Munin, which is situated in the northern part of the area, is an unmanned gas production platform. This installation is the first of its kind on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. 

The Munin concept was developed by Equinor. Aibel will deliver engineering, procurement, construction, assembly and commissioning, while Aker BP is the operator for construction and operation. 

“Munin is being built without a helicopter deck, living quarters and lifeboats. Access and visits will be accomplished through support vessels. Our priorities have been safety incorporated in the design, minimal maintenance requirements and streamlining of platform systems and functions to avoid manual operations. Starting construction on a new project is always exciting. Now we’ll get to see the physical result of several years of work,” says project manager Erling Landsværk in Aibel. 

The first steel was cut at Aibel’s subcontractor, Deeline. The fabrication shop delivers steel structures which are assembled into larger sections and modules at Aibel Thailand in Laem Chabang. The official celebration started early Thursday morning with a ceremony including sacred chanting, food offerings and blessing with holy water. The festivities continued with a cutting ceremony with representatives from all three companies.  

The Munin topsides weigh in at more than 8000 tonnes, with a size of 62 by 42 m and 35 m tall. The contract is valued at NOK 7 billion for Aibel and will provide work for around 2,000 people distributed between Asker, Haugesund and Thailand. 

The yard in Thailand will deliver the utility module, stair tower, flare boom and deck sections for the process module. Assembly and outfitting will take place in Haugesund. The first dispatch will set sail for Norway in less than a year. 

“Yggdrasil will bring enormous ripple effects and value creation. The Norwegian share of deliveries is high, and we’re talking about tens of thousands of full-time equivalents in Norway in the years to come. The project will also help secure jobs and develop companies in the shipyard and supplier sectors across the world. Today’s ceremony is a very good example of the huge international scope of Yggdrasil,” concludes Project director Peter Kupka. 

Yggdrasil consists of the Hugin, Fulla and Munin license groups. The area is located between Alvheim and Oseberg in the North Sea. There are many fields in the area, which contains around 700 MMboe.  Aker BP is the operator, with Equinor and PgNiG Upstream Norway as license partners.

Extensive infrastructure is planned in this area, including three platforms, power from shore and a subsea development, with a total of nine subsea templates, pipelines and umbilicals. 55 wells are planned in the area. The entire Yggdrasil area will be remote-controlled from an onshore integrated operations center and control room in Stavanger.

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