Åsgard welds for repair

February 9, 2001, 08:00 CET

Statoil has discovered weaknesses in about 80 welds in hubs on the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

This applies to welds in the pipes that connect the Midgard and Smørbukk reservoirs to the Åsgard B gas platform. No similar tendencies have been found on the pipes running to the Åsgard A production ship. ABB Vetco Gray supplied the hubs.

Statoil, as operator, has resolved to rectify all of the welds in question as soon as the necessary equipment and vessels are available. The aim is that this work will not affect gas customers on the European continent. In periods when the Åsgard field is unable to produce the contractual gas volumes due to repairs, agreements will be made for other fields on the Norwegian continental shelf to supply the required amounts.

"Production on Åsgard B will at all times be justifiable based on safety and environmental concerns," says Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway. He adds that Statoil's goal is to implement repairs as quickly as possible and with as little effect as possible on production.

ABB Vetco Gray is taking the necessary steps and estimates that it will take between six and eight weeks to get the equipment needed out to the field to start repairs. Work will begin on valves on the Midgard lines, 400 metres from the Åsgard B platform, as soon as equipment is ready.

The weakness was discovered when the Smørbukk structure was being readied for production start-up. Statoil has decided that Smørbukk will not begin production until the welds on its seabed templates have been repaired. A detailed time schedule for the work is under preparation.