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Valhall Flank West - industry collaboration writes the future of offshore

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

ABB Oil & Gas will supply the Electro, Instrument, Control, and Telecom (EICT) solutions to the Valhall Flank West unmanned wellhead, as part of Aker BP's Wellhead Platform Alliance.

'Aker BP's Wellhead Platform Alliance is a major advance for this industry, and proof that through innovating together, we can make a real difference for offshore operations,' says Per Erik Holsten, Managing Director, ABB Oil, Gas and Chemicals. 'The EICT agreement for Valhall Flank West gives us the opportunity to take our digital deliveries to a new level and show that smart digital solutions can improve on cost and productivity for operations.'

The Wellhead Platform Alliance model integrates independent framework agreements for Engineering and Procurement, Construction and Hookup, and EICT. The agreements run for 10 years on a 6 + 4 model, and can be used separately or as part of future Wellhead Platform Alliance projects.

What makes the Alliance special?
There are 12 principles governing the Wellhead Platform Alliance, stipulating a single project management organization comprising the best personnel from all alliance partners. The intention is to integrate the different company cultures into a unified team with the same goals and the same incentives, based on trust and transparency.

Central to the concept is the distribution of risk, responsibility, and reward, employing a Most Likely Cost (MLC) mechanism that ensures sharing of underrun and overrun.

'Industry collaboration by both production companies and suppliers like ABB is what brings insight and innovation to this industry,' says Holsten. 'Alliances are often built around use of technologies or products. This one is focused on optimizing work processes and project development, and that is in line with our own priorities in the changing global energy landscape. The Wellhead Platform Alliance will be fundamental to driving progress for the industry's future.'

Applying experience
ABB has been supplying digital technology to platform and subsea installations in the North Sea for decades. With their role in the Wellhead Platform Alliance, the stage is set to take full advantage of that experience. 'Many of the same principles from subsea can provide added value to unmanned solutions,' says Magnus Dagestad, Key Account Manager in ABB, 'and with the Alliance, we can bring our operative experience to the early stages of planning.'

Dagestad confirms that not just ABB's offshore experience, but the cumulative knowledge of their global industrial enterprise, will be leveraged in the project. In their role as EICT supplier, ABB will employ ABB AbilityTM, the corporate portfolio of digital solutions that helps clients 'close the loop' and convert insight into action. 'This will be an important tool for maximizing the value our contribution for Aker BP,' he says.

Seeing the big picture
The high-level goals for the digitalization of Valhall Flank West are improved economy, safety and efficiency. 'ABB solutions for the platform will improve both production and uptime. Through sensor technology, installed equipment will report continuously on its current state, which enables real-time monitoring and condition-based maintenance,' says Borghild Lunde, Senior Vice President, Oil, Gas and Chemicals for ABB in Norway. 'This helps to keep maintenance costs down, reduce downtime, and minimize safety risks.'

She adds that the data is accessible for both platform crew and shore personnel. 'When we can share data across the project, we can achieve more cost-effective operations. The data has always been there, but now it can be used in more effective ways.'

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