Åsgard up NOK 900 million

October 16, 1998, 15:00 CEST

The Åsgard development in the Norwegian Sea will face a cost overrun of NOK 900 million from previous estimates.

An updated investment estimate shows the total cost of the 50 per cent completed Åsgard project to be NOK 37.25 billion.

"This rise is due to an increased complexity in the development as well as higher weight for the Åsgard B platform. The NOK 900 million rise is spread equally between Åsgard A, Åsgard B, subsea facilities and risers from the seabed to the surface installations," reports Åsgard project director Odd A Mosbergvik. The total increase for the field installations in relation to the plan for development and operation, is 20 per cent.

Work to complete the Åsgard A production ship is in its final stages at the Aker Stord shipyard south of Bergen. Testing equipment on board remains to be done. Commissioning of the ship's systems is running on average two weeks behind schedule in relation to the tow-out date of 22 November. Some critical systems are three to four weeks delayed. Although Åsgard A is due to come on stream in February 1999, a delay in the tow-out date from Stord will entail a risk of postponed production start up.

"We are sticking to 22 November as tow-out date, but we have incorporated flexibility to allow for a later date followed by hook-up and mooring on the field. A final decision on the tow-out date has to be made at the beginning of November and we intend to maintain the requirement that the ship is 100 per cent completed before it leaves Stord," says Mr Mosbergvik.

Construction of the Åsgard B gas platform is underway. The Kværner Rosenberg yard in Stavanger has started fabricating the topsides later than intended. This is due to a substantial weight increase of the topsides.

"We have agreed on a plan to regain all lost time by summer 1999," says Mr Mosbergvik.

Fabrication of the Åsgard B modules is also slightly delayed. The hull being built by Daewoo in South Korea is one to two weeks behind schedule.

"We do not consider this delay to be dramatic and we are keeping to 1 September next year as the date of delivery to Stavanger," says the project director.

The Åsgard B platform is due to come on stream in October 2000. Work with drilling, completion and installation of equipment and flowlines on the sea bed are on schedule. The same applies to preparations on the field for hook-up of Åsgard A.

The Åsgard C condensate storage vessel is also on schedule. The AESA Sestao yard outside Bilbao in Spain starts work on installing the hull on 9 November. According to plan, the vessel will be in place on the field in April 2000.