Pierce MST sets off

December 8, 1998, 08:00 CET

Multipurpose shuttle tanker Berge Hugin set off for Britain's Pierce field early on Monday after conversion to a production ship.

Owned 50-50 by Statoil shipping subsidiary Navion and Norwegian shipowner Bergesen d.y, this vessel was fitted at the Aker McNulty yard in Newcastle-upon-Tyne with a process plant from Advanced Production Systems (APS). The latter belongs 50-50 to Statoil and Norway's Aker Maritime.

Functional testing of the propeller system will be done before the vessel completes its journey to Pierce. Operated by Enterprise, the North Sea field is due to come on stream before the New Year.

Berge Hugin will produce an average of 45,000 barrels per day from Pierce, which has estimated recoverable reserves of 84 million barrels.

The Pierce Production Company (PPC) partnership in Aberdeen - comprising Navion, APS and Bergesen - has been commissioned by Enterprise to develop and produce the field.

According to PPC project manager Tor B Tangvald, the aim is to have the ship connected to the submerged turret production (STP) buoy and swivel by Wednesday. A number of tests will then be performed before Pierce comes on stream.

The STP system was installed earlier this year, and Enterprise has also positioned the subsea production facilities and connected the subsea riser to the STP buoy.