New generation of oil and gas development

May 5, 2003, 01:00 CEST

The 900 tonne Fram Vest process module was lifted into place on Troll C at the weekend. Fram Vest will enable Hydro to utilize the existing infrastructure and recover relatively small resources profitably.

"Both the gas field Tune, which came into operation five months ago, and the oil field Fram Vest are small fields situated close to existing platforms and pipelines. By linking these up to the Oseberg field center and Troll C respectively, it will be possible to utilize the capacity on these installations better and to improve the economy of the projects. Hydro hopes to carry out several similar developments in the future," says Tom Røtjer, senior vice president, development in Hydro.

The Fram Vest field, which is planned to start producing oil in October 2003, will produce just over 60,000 barrels of oil per day. The development includes two four-well subsea frames, which were installed on the Fram field in June last year, and a process module that was installed on Troll C at the weekend. The wellstream will be transported to Troll C for processing.

Investments amount to around NOK 4 billion. The Fram Vest reserves contain 100 million barrels of oil and eight billion cubic meters of gas. Hydro continues to work on plans for the development of the other finds in the Sogn area, north of Bergen.

Safe and controlled

As lifting the Fram Vest module is such a specialized operation, with both the lifting vessel Saipem 7000 and Troll C afloat, model tests and computer simulations were carried out prior to the lift.

"We paid great attention to ensuring that the lift proceeded in a safe and controlled manner. Everything was planned in detail and we ran computer simulations and model tests and the involved personnel on the platform were well prepared before the lift," says Ståle Øvretveit in Hydro Technology and Projects.


Computer simulations were carried out using a program that simulates module and vessel movements and the force of guides and bumpers and their impact. The module itself was placed on three vertical supports that had previously been installed on Troll C, above the platform's aft port column. Troll C was ballasted to around 4 degrees heeling, and rotated around 8 degrees during the transfer to around 4 degrees in the opposite direction. The platform will shortly be returned to its normal position.

The process module contains a separator, compressors and a meter station for measuring the production stream from the Fram Vest subsea installations, which are situated 20 kilometers north of Troll C.

Extensive maintenance shutdown

From 11 to 25 June, around 300 persons will prepare and link up the 900 tonne Fram Vest process module to the Troll C platform. The maintenance shutdown on Troll C is the most extensive to be carried out on a Hydro installation this year.

In addition to the Fram Vest link-up, three separators will also be inspected and several modifications will be carried out to improve the production process. When the flotel Regalia arrives in June, over 200 people will be employed on the platform.

Facts about Fram Vest

  • Situation: 20 km north of Troll C, 100 km north west of Bergen
  • Water depth: 360 meters
  • Concept: two subsea frames made up of four drilling slots, each of which will be connected to Troll C
  • Production start: October 2003
  • Peak production: 60,000 barrels of oil per day
  • Licensees: Hydro (operator) 25%, Statoil 20%, ExxonMobil 25%, Gaz de France 15%, Idemitzu 15%